Knowing whether you need a root canal can be quite difficult to determine. Generally speaking, this is a very common, yet, pretty complicated dental procedure. The entire goal of it is to clean the tooth roots and then seal the space by employing a biocompatible material.

Once the root canal is finished, a general dentist is going to put a permanent restoration which could potentially involve a post and restorative material that is going to construct the remaining tooth structure.

All in all, this sets a firm foundation for the crown which brings back the function that the tooth has lost. Namely, this whole process saves teeth. So how do you know you may be needing a root canal? Are there any signs? Check out the answers!

How To Know You Need A Root Canal?

Tooth Pain

Even though tooth pain isn’t necessarily a sign that you need a root canal, it does showcase that something is wrong with your tooth. A detailed exam by the dentist is required to determine what is the underlying cause.

Furthermore, this type of pain can be mild to unbearable. It can also last for a short period of time,  or be constant. Some people may feel it only when they are consuming food, while others may experience it for a couple of hours or even days.

As time goes by, it is quite common for pain to either subside or to be even more intense. When it comes to root canal pain, it frequently starts as mild discomfort, and then, as time goes on, it turns into an extreme pain that may develop an infection if left untreated.

Sensitivity To Cold And Heat

Do you feel like your tooth hurts when you either consume warm food or when you drink a hot cup of tea or coffee? Or, on the other hand, you feel like your tooth is too sensitive when you’re having an icy-cold drink or ice cream?

This sensation could feel like a sharp pain or dull ache. Professionals at Willow Pass Dental Care – Concord Dentists suggest that a root canal is potentially necessary if the pain lingers for a long period of time, even when you’re not eating or drinking anything. Now, if this happens only when you chew something or drink something that’s cold or hot, it may be a sign that the nerves and blood vessels in your teeth are either damaged or infected.

What Are Other Signs That Showcase You Need Root Canal?

Swelling And Gum Tenderness

Now, swelling isn’t always a sign that you must opt for root canal surgery, however, if you experience any type of tooth pain, you should definitely check it out to reveal the cause behind it.

When it comes to swelling, it may come in different forms and types. It doesn’t matter whether it appears to be normal, with some sort of tenderness, or you can notice a lump that can easily be felt or seen, it frequently means that root canal surgery is necessary. In some instances, the swelling can expand to the face or neck. Swelling characteristics that can showcase that there is root canal infection is present, include:


  • Gum swelling is located in front of the root tip
  • A gum boil on the tip of the root
  • Swelling can be literally any size, sometimes it’s hard to notice, while at the time, there’s an obvious, bigger lump that can easily be felt
  • Swelling can last for a while, usually days or months
  • A foul breath odor is present. This is the result of the pus that is arriving from your root canal
  • Your tooth feels a bit taller than the others that surround it

Now, swelling isn’t always present, even when you’re experiencing a toothache, however, it doesn’t mean that a root canal isn’t required. On the other hand, swelling isn’t always the sign that you should have this procedure.

Furthermore, swelling can indicate that you must seek urgent medical care, which usually means that your dentist is going to give you some antibiotics to eliminate both swelling and infection.

Deep Decay

If deep decay is located in the base of the tooth, then you should bear in mind that flossing, brushing, or rinsing your mouth isn’t going to fix anything. If you have been neglecting the cavity for too long, then it is going to spread down into your nerve, as well as the root of your tooth.

In these situations, a root canal is probably the best solution for repair before you are fitted with a crown. That’s why you should have regular oral hygiene and visit your dentist as frequently as possible.

Why is this important? Well, that’s because if you neglect your gums and teeth, the infection is going to spread, and it is going to cause some more serious issues. You are going to turn a small problem into a huge one.

Feeling Ill

There are several symptoms that may lead you to think you’ve been experiencing the flu or any virus, instead of connecting these symptoms with your teeth. Tender or swollen lymph nodes, high temperature, a fever, fatigue, can all be the symptoms of tooth issues.

If you experience them, then it means that you should have an endodontic surgery, especially if all these symptoms are accompanied by some other signs. So if you do not feel well, plus you’ve been having any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned above, then you should call your dentist.

Do not just assume what’s potentially wrong with you, but rather consult with a professional who knows exactly what is going on with you. If you do it, you are going to save a lot of your precious time, and plus make sure that you did everything to save your tooth.

Taking care of our teeth is a must, no matter how harmless or benign a problem may appear to be. That’s why if you recognize any of the symptoms that we listed above, ensure to contact your dentist to determine your next step.

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