Many people live in fear of the dreaded root canal, but this fear is actually misplaced. While root canals are associated with pain and discomfort, the fact is that the pain actually occurs before the root canal procedure. The root canal itself isn't particularly painful, but instead it marks the relief from pain. If you truly want to solve the pain issues, then opting for a root canal is your single best option. The following are signs that you need to see a dentist about having this procedure done.
Symptom #1: Swelling or Abscesses
Swelling along the gum lines, irritation and redness, or pus-filled abscesses are all signs of an infected tooth. Sometimes the swelling and abscesses occur right by the affected tooth, while in other cases the infection in the tooth travels in the system and the abscess appears in another part of the mouth. The only way to accurately assess where the infection is located is to visit a dentist for a full examination. Often, deep decay that has reached the nerve of a tooth is the likely cause. In this case, your dentist will need to drill out the pulp and nerve, performing a root canal, and then place a filling or crown. The relief is nearly instant.
Symptom #2: Tooth Damage
Infection doesn't have to be present for a root canal to be necessary. If you have cracked or damaged a tooth, or if you have a history of losing the filling in a tooth, exposure to air can cause extreme pain. In some cases, your dentist can simply repair the tooth with a crown, filling, or a bonding agent. In other cases, damage to the nerve may make a root canal necessary. While there may be some discomfort during the procedure, there will be minimal to no pain during or after it is completed. Plus, this will fix the damage so that you can smile confidently again.
Symptom #3: Ongoing Sensitivity
Sensitivity in teeth can have many causes. Sensitivity from pressure, in particular, can indicate root damage, but ongoing sensitivity to temperature can also be a sign that the root is damaged or infected. If you are feeling sensitivity, especially if it borders on pain, contact your dentist. In some cases, root damage is the culprit, and the most effective treatment is to have a root canal.
If any of the above issues are affecting your day-to-day comfort, contact a dentist to see if a root canal procedure could bring you some relief.