As general dentists know, there are few things more feared by patients than a root canal. Yet, the root canal procedure itself is far less painful than what patients experience when they delaying going to the dentist. To ensure you receive proper treatment as quickly as possible, here are five signs to look out for:
- Persistent tooth pain, especially when biting down.
- Lasting, unusual sensitivity to hot and cold foods/drinks.
- An unpleasant odor in your mouth, even after brushing.
- An abscess in your tooth – may be recognized by the presence of pus or inflammation around the tooth.
- A tooth suddenly becoming dark in color.
These symptoms are the result of tooth pulp (the nerve tissue inside the tooth) having been damaged – often due to physical trauma, tooth decay, damaged fillings, repeated dental procedures or cracks in the tooth. The pulp then begins to decay, becoming infected and very painful.
Any of these symptoms are serious and if you are experiencing all or just one of them, you should make an appointment with your dentist. This is because a root canal is the best way to remove the damaged tooth pulp that causes so much pain – and the infection will only get worse with time.
For the root canal procedure, your dentist will ensure you are comfortable and relaxed by using effective, safe sedation techniques and a topical anesthetic around the infection site. The tooth will then be opened, cleaned out and sealed until a crown can be placed. Without the pulp, your tooth will still be healthy and fully functional – and you’ll be pain-free!