Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Saying the words “root canal” to someone is a lot like yelling, “Boo!” You usually get at least a flinch, and often a groan of sympathy pain. No one likes the idea of a root canal, but did you know that the reasons for needing a root canal are often the bigger source of pain? Patients typically need a root canal to remove an infection from deep within a tooth. How do you know if you might need a root canal? Here are some signs to look out for.

Tooth Sensitivity

Short bouts of tooth sensitivity are not uncommon. Anything from small amounts of decay to a loose filling to slight gum recession can cause your teeth to become momentarily sensitive to extreme temperatures. But if the pain and sensitivity is prolonged – lasting longer than 30 seconds after exposure to heat or cold – there is likely damage to the pulp deep within your tooth. It’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can take X-rays and get a good look at what’s going on.

Sharp Pain with Biting

Again, pain when biting down on foods, especially harder foods like apples, can come from a number of problems. But one of those issues is infected tooth pulp. If you notice that eating has become painful, call Gary Johnson DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment. Dr. Johnson will take X-rays and see if there is a crack in a tooth or loose filling. He can also evaluate the tooth pulp and determine if there is an infection within the tooth that requires a root canal.

Ache & Pressure

A dull ache or feeling of pressure is often associated more with tooth grinding, also called bruxism. Illnesses like a sinus infection can also cause pressure that radiates down into your teeth, making it feel like you have a dental issue. If, however, the pain becomes severe or is chronic, you should make an appointment so Dr. Johnson can evaluate you. You may need a nightguard to help with bruxism, or there could be an issue within your teeth that needs to be resolved.

If you're concerned about pain that seems to be coming from within a tooth, it's always best to make an appointment. The only way we can tell if you need a root canal is to take X-rays and examine your teeth for signs of damage or infection. Your oral health is a key part of your body's overall health, so don't take chances. Call our team to schedule a convenient appointment or schedule online!