For a dental patient who hears his dentist tell him that he needs a root canal, the news can sometimes come as a surprise. It often seems as though this accelerated decay comes out of nowhere, leading some patients to feel as though the problem arises with little warning. The reality is, though, that you don’t need a crystal ball or palm reading to know when a root canal is in your future. There are usually many signs that indicate an emerging problem long before your dentist sounds the alarm.
Some of the most common signs that a root canal may be needed include:
- Pain. Many people who find themselves in need of a root canal are surprised by the fact that they noticed no pain in the immediate period prior to the diagnosis. In most instances, though, those same patients can remember a brief period of pain in the recent past. If you suffered through several days of intense pain followed by no pain at all, and were then later told that you needed a root canal, three is a simple explanation.
When tooth decay becomes so deep that it extends to the pulp chamber of the tooth, it typically creates and infection in the pulp that starts to kill that living tissue. As that tissue dies – including the nerves in the area, you experience acute pain that can last for as much as three days. The pain is the result of inflammation in the area. Once the infection has destroyed the pulp chamber tissue, your pain usually subsides as the infection now works its way into the bone. There might be some minor pain when you bite into food, but none of the acute pain that typically sends people running to the dentist.
- Temperature Sensitivity. Many people also experience sensitivity in their teeth to hot or cold food and beverages. That is often a sign that the nerves have been damaged in some way, and could be an indication that you have the type of infection that needs to be treated before it does any more damage.
- Discoloration of teeth, Swollen Gums. Another indication that trouble may be brewing involves any discolored tooth or gum swelling in the area around a particular tooth. Inflamed gums are usually a response to infection, and should be looked at as soon as possible.
Naturally, no one is suggesting that you panic every time you get a minor toothache or feel like your gums might be a little bit swollen. However, it is important to be alert to obvious signs that an infection has taken root, and seek dental treatment as soon as you can to prevent additional damage.
At Ebenezer Dental, we encourage our patients to not only be aware of potential signs of a problem, but to actively work to prevent trouble as well. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are the most effective tools available for ensuring that your teeth remain as healthy as possible throughout your life. To find out more about how the best dentist in midtown Manhattan can help you with your root canal and other dental issues, give us a call today!