Three Warning Signs You May Need a Root Canal

There are a number of different things that can go wrong with a person’s tooth, but the final stop when it comes to many tooth pain issues is a root canal. Frankly, it’s a procedure that has such a bad reputation that it’s understandable why so many people would be afraid of it, but here at Dr. Robert Walley’s office we make sure the procedure is as quick and painless as possible. Nobody wants to get a root canal, but when the time does come, it’s nice to know that a professional exists to minimize the anxiety people usually associate with the procedure.

The question, then, is how do you know when it’s time to get a root canal? Obviously individual patients won’t make those decisions by themselves, but there are a few warning signs that suggest it could be time to schedule a visit with your dentist. If you experience the following symptoms, it could be a sign that you are in need of a root canal:

#1 Persistent, Shooting Pain

According to the American Association of Endodontists, the most common symptom that may indicate the need for a root canal is tooth pain. While cartoons might make it seem as though all toothaches are full-body experiences, the truth is that this pain could be anywhere from mild to severe, and it could lessen or grow more severe over the course of the day. It if is persistent, though, we recommend making an appointment with your dentist to find out what the problem really is.

#2 Food Temperature Sensitivity 

Another common symptom is sensitivity to hot and/or cold food and drinks. If you experience shooting pain every time you eat hot food or take a cool drink of water, there is a possibility that your nerves are exposed and you will need a root canal. If you no longer can enjoy your morning cup of coffee or tea because of a lingering dull ache, that could be a sign that you need to be seen as soon as possible.

#3 Swelling Around the Gums

Finally, patients suffering from an infection of the tooth may see some swelling around the gums. That swelling, which also can come with some redness, signifies that something is wrong underneath the surface, and when it comes to the mouth that usually means an issue with the root and exposed nerves. Any type of swelling, especially in conjunction with temperature sensitivity and pain, could signal a need for this dental procedure.

We know you don’t want to get a root canal. Nobody ever does. However, the earlier we catch these types of symptoms the less painful the experience is going to be. Sometimes, a simple filling is enough, but if left alone too long, these little problems can transform into big problems that require a big solution. The good news is that Dr. Walley is quite skilled at this procedure, so if it is something you need, at least you know there’s someone you can count on to extract the root with expert ease.