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How to Know if You Need a Root Canal

Discover the warning signs that indicate need for a root canal, and how to identify your individual symptoms. 

Knowing what to expect during your dental appointment can ease worries and decrease stress levels. Consider the signs of the need for a root canal to help adjust your expectations before your next restorative dental appointment.

Although pain ranks up there as the most definitive sign of the need for a root canal, there are several other symptoms to consider. The dying root structure and possible underlying infection cause the affected tooth and adjacent oral tissues to show signs that become increasingly hard to ignore. Upon developing pain or any of the other following signs, it is important to promptly seek care from a qualified dental professional experienced in root canal treatment in Little Rock.

Increased Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

The need for a root canal often begins after decay or trauma causes chips or cracks to appear in the teeth. As a result, teeth may feel exceptionally sensitive to hot and cold sensations, especially while eating or drinking throughout the day. If you notice an increase of tooth sensitivity, especially when centered around just one or two teeth, it is important to explore the reason behind that change with help from a dental professional. Delaying an examination and treatment could give bacteria enough time to cause an infection deep in the oral tissues.

Swelling of the Nearby Oral Tissues

Dental decay or damage that contributes to the need for a root canal often has an irritating effect on the nearby gum tissues. The irritation can cause the gums to swell up around the affected tooth and beyond. You may notice a difficulty in flossing deep within the periodontal pockets as this symptom worsens. Without care, plaque within the periodontal pockets could contribute to accelerated tooth decay.

Bump or Lesion Along the Gum Line

If the damaged or decayed tooth develops an infection or abscess, you may be able to spot the problem by looking at your gum tissue. A bump or lesion along the gum line tends to directly signal the development of an infection around the pulp or nerve roots of the tooth. The infection can easily travel into your blood stream without treatment, causing system wide problems to develop.

Tooth Color Changes and Darkens

As the roots in your tooth fully die off, your dentin and enamel will slowly change in color and darken to gray or black tones. You should seek dental care immediately after you notice a change in color to hopefully reverse the issue and save the tooth. Otherwise, you may need to have the damaged or decayed tooth extracted and replaced with an implant.

Acquiring Root Canal Treatment in Little Rock

If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or any of the above signs, consider scheduling an appointment to discuss if you need a root canal in Little Rock. You can schedule a dental examination at Arkansas Family Dental by calling 501-683-8886. Your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth to determine if you need a root canal or other type of restorative dental care.

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Tina Nichols

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