These 6 Symptoms Indicate That A Root Canal Is Needed

Updated on April 19, 2023

We’ve all had our fair share of dental woes, but some signs and symptoms just can’t be ignored. 

But how do you know for sure? Well, there are a handful of telltale signs that could mean it’s time to head to your dentist for a good ol’ root canal. 

In this article, we’ll explore six symptoms that might indicate you need this dental procedure, from severe toothaches to abscesses that just won’t quit.

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1. Severe Toothache

You know that awful feeling when you have a severe toothache? It’s like a constant, throbbing pain that makes you want to grab your face and wince. 

You can get toothaches from things like:

  • Cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Gum disease  

But sometimes, that pain is so intense that it’s actually a sign you might need a root canal. An emergency dentist will check out if the tooth’s nerve and pulp are infected or damaged. It can cause some serious discomfort. 

So if you’re experiencing this kind of pain, don’t wait around. It’s time to see a dentist and get it checked out, because a root canal might be just what you need to find relief.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

You know that zingy feeling when you bite into something cold or hot, and it sends shivers down your spine? That’s tooth sensitivity! It’s like your teeth are trying to tell you, “Hey, something’s not right here!” 

Usually, sensitivity is triggered by stuff like:

  • Hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Sweet treats
  • Even just breathing in cold air

But if you’re experiencing sensitivity that sticks around for a long time, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on, like maybe you need a root canal. When the tooth’s nerve is exposed or damaged, it can cause that lingering sensitivity and a root canal might be the solution to get your teeth feeling normal again. 

3. Swollen or Tender Gums

Isn’t it the worst when your gums get all swollen and tender? It’s like your mouth is just sore and angry, and you can’t quite enjoy your favorite snacks anymore. 

Gum inflammation can happen for a bunch of reasons, like:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Even just brushing too hard
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But sometimes, that swelling and tenderness could be a sign that you need a root canal. When there’s an infection deep down in your tooth, it can cause the surrounding gum tissue to get all inflamed and angry. 

4. Discoloration of the Tooth

Ever notice how sometimes teeth can start looking a bit off-color, like they’re not as bright and shiny as they used to be? 

That’s tooth discoloration for you! It can happen for many reasons, like:

  • Staining foods and drinks
  • Tobacco use
  • Natural aging process

But when one tooth suddenly starts looking darker than its neighbors, it might be a sign that a root canal is in order. Sometimes, when the tooth’s nerve and pulp get damaged or infected, it can cause the tooth to change color. 

5. Persistent Bad Taste in the Mouth

You know that gross feeling when you just can’t seem to shake a bad taste in your mouth? It’s like no matter how much you brush or rinse, it just won’t go away. 

You can have this from:

  • Certain foods
  • Medications
  • Health conditions

But sometimes, that icky taste could be a sign that a root canal is needed. When there’s an infection in your tooth, it can release nasty-tasting fluids into your mouth, and no amount of mouthwash can fix that. 

6. Abscess

They’re basically pockets of pus that form around the root of a tooth, and they can be painful and downright nasty.

Abscesses usually happen when a tooth gets infected, either from a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or gum disease. And the thing is, you really don’t want to ignore an abscess, because it can lead to even worse problems, like spreading the infection to other parts of your body. 

That’s where a root canal comes in. It’s one of the best ways to treat an abscess and get your mouth feeling better. 

Do You Need a Root Canal?

So there you have it, six symptoms that could be your teeth’s way of letting you know that a root canal is in order.

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s important not to ignore them and instead consult with your dentist to see if a root canal might be the best course of action. 

Remember, delaying treatment can lead to even more pain and complications down the road. So don’t wait. Take charge of your dental health and get the help you need to keep your smile in tip-top shape!

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.