The signs or symptoms that you may need a root canal can be identified by your Langley dentist during your bi-annual dental exam and cleaning or in case of a dental emergency. Over a million root canals are performed by Canadian dentists every year making them one of the most common dental procedures. Even though root canals are often dreaded by dental patients, dentists perform them in order to help save our damaged or diseased teeth and prevent a host of more serious and costly dental issues down the road. The signs that you may need a root canal can be quite obvious but they can also be subtle. We’d like to share some of the common signs indicating that you may need a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
Basically, a root canal procedure is performed to remove the infected or inflamed pulp of your tooth. By doing so, your dentist can save your tooth, relieve your pain, and prevent reinfection. If infected tooth pulp is not removed, the infection could worsen and affect the bone and the surrounding tissue of your tooth, and eventually, it may be necessary to extract the tooth. What’s more, infected tooth pulp can lead to additional dental and or other health complications. Consequently, if you need root canal treatment, it’s wiser to have it performed as soon as possible.
No Need to Fear Root Canal Treatment
Do you cringe when you hear the words “root canal”? Our Langley dentist would like to assure you have nothing to fear. Modern root canal therapy is not painful. The dental team at Langley Dental Centre applies the most up-to-date dental treatment techniques to ensure you will experience minimal discomfort during your root canal treatment. Modern advances in dental technology have made uncomfortable and painful root canals a thing of the past. Often a root canal can be your best option for saving your tooth rather than having it pulled.
Signs Indicating the Need for Root Canal Treatment
After careful dental examination and diagnosis, your dentist may suggest an endodontic procedure like RCT as a last resort to save your teeth. Normally, after an endodontic procedure like a root canal, the treated tooth is restored with a filling or crown. Let’s discuss some of the signs that indicate that you may need root canal therapy.
Toothache is one of the first signs that you have a problem with a tooth. If you experience persistent pain that makes it difficult to drink or eat, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. The pain can be caused by a cavity that has resulted in an infection and inflammation in the blood vessels and nerves. As a first step, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. If the problem is not resolved with antibiotics then root canal treatment may be recommended to put an end to your pain and save your tooth.
Swollen and/or Sore Gums
Swollen red gums that are sensitive to the touch and persist may be an indication of an infected tooth. Upon examining the area, if your dentist finds inflammation then he or she may recommend root canal therapy.
Similarly, if you notice canker sores that are located just beneath the surface of your gum line, they could be the result of an infected tooth, especially when they reoccur in the same area in your gum line. You may also experience pain in the area where the sores are and they can increase in size and give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth. You should have your dentist examine these sores/pimples because any dental infection should be treated as soon as possible. After your dental examination, your dentist will evaluate the cause of the infection and recommend an appropriate treatment that may include root canal therapy.
Sensitivity to Temperature
Another sign of an infected tooth is when you suddenly notice that you are experiencing sensitivity or pain at a specific tooth when it is exposed to hot or cold temperatures while drinking or eating. If this occurs then you should visit your dentist to determine if the pain is due to an infected tooth and whether you need root canal therapy.
You can experience tooth discoloration because of improper or lack of oral hygiene and/or staining from beverages (e.g. colas, coffee, and tea). If you are a smoker or use chewing tobacco, your teeth may become yellowish.
However, your tooth colour can change as a result of nerve damage. When a tooth is infected, the pulp can become discoloured. This is because blood can’t enter the pulp or because the pulp dies due to inadequate blood supply. The discolouration is often greyish-black in appearance. Whatever the reason may be for tooth discolouration, it is a good idea to consult with your dentist and help save your smile.
Broken or Damaged Tooth
Damaged or broken teeth can result in nerve exposure that may lead to infection. Unless you act fast to receive dental treatment, you could risk losing your tooth. Moreover, the infection can enter your bloodstream and you could experience various health issues that can affect your overall health.
Consulting with Your Langley Dentist
Being aware of the signs indicating that you may have endodontic issues is important since the sooner you act and visit our Langley dentist, the better off you will be in terms of treatment, oral health, and minimizing your overall discomfort.
Book your dental appointment with your dentist at Langley Dental Centre at the first sign of any dental issue. We will help you back on the path to good oral health. Root canal treatment may be done in a single appointment if planned in advance. In some cases, the same tooth may need a repeat treatment, if new infections develop in the gums or tissues surrounding the roots.
Root canal-treated teeth usually stay pain-free for many years or a lifetime. If you have any questions at all about our root canal treatments, contact us today at 604-455-6247 to schedule an appointment or visit us at our Langley dental office at the corner of 200 St. and 86 Avenue. We have been serving patients in Langley, including areas in and around Surrey, Cloverdale, Aldergrove, and Abbotsford since 2016.