A root canal is a dental procedure used to clean decay from a tooth’s root and pulp. Teeth are made up of an outer enamel layer, the second layer of dentin, and then a softcore that extends to your jawbone’s root. The inner core contains pulp, which comprises blood connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. When decay makes it to the tooth’s core, the pulp may become infected, inflamed, or even dead (necrotic). A root canal is required to eliminate the decay.
So, how would you know if you needed a root canal or not? Are there any signs, or do you need a root canal X-ray? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the most common root canal symptoms.
The phrase ‘root canal’ can refer to the dental procedure required to rid infected matter and pain from root canals in the mouth and to the inner passages of the tooth between the roots and pulp.
Root canals contain blood vessels and nerves, but once your adult teeth have emerged, these nerves don’t serve purposes other than sensing cold, heat, or other stimuli. Root canal dentists remove the nerves from infected teeth as part of a standard procedure used to rid patients of tooth pain caused by infection of the tooth pulp or tooth decay.
The most common causes of root canal pain are:
- Damage: Chips or cracks left untreated in your teeth can lead to root canal pain and tooth decay.
- Decay: Tooth decay begins on the tooth’s outer layers, but once it penetrates, it will cause pain in the root canal.
- Disease: The tooth’s pulp can become infected following trauma, severe decay, large fillings, cracks, chips, and even recent dental procedures. If your pain is caused by severe tooth decay or pulp infection, your dentist may suggest a root canal.
The Most Common Root Canal Symptoms
The only sure way to know if this is what you require is to ask a root canal dentist. However, there are a few signs and symptoms you can watch for. Here are the most common root canal symptoms:
One of the most common root canal symptoms is constant, lingering pain. In other words, pain that bothers you all the time, or it may even come and go. This pain may also be felt in other areas such as your face, other teeth, jaw, and deep inside the tooth’s bone.
Yet, remember that tooth pain is often caused by other problems such as cavities, teeth that are impacted and infected, gum diseases, damaged fillings, or pain that’s transferred from your sinuses. No matter what you’re dealing with, if you feel constant pain in your mouth, it’s best to see a root canal dentist and see what’s going on.
Do you feel pain in your teeth while eating or drinking cold or hot things? If so, you may need a root canal. Sensitivity related to your tooth’s roots often manifests as a dull ache or sharp, sudden pains that can be felt for long periods of time, sometimes long after you’re done eating and drinking. Experiencing a sensitivity to cold or heat may indicate that you have teeth with nerves that are infected or damaged.
Oftentimes when an infection is present in the tooth’s pulp, the tooth may become discolored. When this occurs, you’ll notice a blackish-gray tone that’s caused by trauma or the breakdown of internal tissue. It’s worth mentioning that other conditions also cause tooth discoloration, so if you notice your tooth changing colors, see your dentist and inquire about a root canal X-ray.
If you’ve ever chipped or cracked your tooth in an accident or by eating something hard, bacteria can show up and create an infection. And even if your tooth doesn’t chip or crack, sometimes just an injury is enough to damage the nerves and lead to a root canal.
Other signs to be mindful of include tenderness or swelling of the gums where it hurts, bumps that resemble pimples where it hurts, or if the tooth moves.
If you have any symptoms that don’t go away or seem to get better, it’s best to make an appointment to see a root canal dentist as soon as possible. The longer you let the issue go, the worse it will get and the more money you’ll have to spend to resolve the problem!
Schedule your root canal dental appointment today!
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