Every dentist understands that no one is in a hurry to get a root canal. By the same token, though, every dentist wants patients to understand that waiting too long to get root canal treatment near you may force you to face even more serious issues: tooth extractions, the need to replace missing teeth and infection spreading throughout your body. What are the signs you may need to undergo root canal treatment near you?
You’re experiencing persistent pain
An occasional toothache is one thing. Persistent pain in the tooth or pain that gets worse over time rather than slowly fading away is another thing entirely. If you can’t perform normal and typical daily activities such as drinking and eating without experiencing tooth pain, don’t settle for constant discomfort. That constant pain — in your tooth, face or jaw — may be a symptom of inflamed blood vessels or nerves inside your tooth due to a serious infection. Unless antibiotics can deal with that infection effectively, your dentist in Okotoks may recommend undergoing root canal treatment near you to eliminate that infection.
If your gums, mouth or face are swollen
Swelling is a common symptom of a serious tooth infection. That swelling can occur along your gums or even in your face, throat or neck. Swollen gums can be caused by the acidic waste produced by dying and dead pulp tissue in the interior of your mouth. You may even notice something that looks like a pimple on your gums. More likely, that “pimple” is a gum boil or abscess that might even ooze foul-tasting and foul-smelling pus into your mouth.
Sometimes over-the-counter medication or even just ice packs can reduce that swelling, but those remedies do nothing to eliminate the underlying infection inside your tooth. If you have swollen gums or a swollen face, neck or throat — especially if you also have any of these other symptoms — ask a dentist to examine your jaw to find out if you have a serious tooth infection that needs to be eliminated via a root canal.
Severe tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a little bit like toothache pain. It’s so common and mundane that you might not think of it as a sign of a serious tooth infection. Minor and fleeting tooth sensitivity doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of a serious tooth infection, but if your teeth are sensitive to both heat and cold and if the sensitivity lingers after the hot or cold substance has been removed, the nerves and blood vessels inside your tooth may have been damaged by a serious infection.
A discoloured tooth
There are lots of things that can cause discoloured teeth, but most of them affect all your teeth at the same time — things like drinking coffee, tea and red wine or neglecting your dental hygiene habits and smoking — but changes in the colour of a single tooth can indicate the presence of a serious and advanced tooth infection requiring root canal treatment in Okotoks. A tooth that begins to turn yellow, brown, gray or black — kinda like it’s bruised — is a tooth that is dying or dead. Leaving that tooth and the infection inside of it in your mouth may let that infection spread throughout your mouth, jaw and body via the bloodstream. You should ask a dentist to confirm whether you need to undergo root canal treatment near you as soon as possible to protect your health.
If your tooth is loose
Unless you’re a child eager to see the Tooth Fairy, a loose tooth is never a good sign. A loose permanent tooth is not always a sign you need a root canal but is always a reason to make an appointment with a dentist near you as soon as possible. In some cases, the acidic by-products of nerve death in the interior of an infected tooth can soften the jaw bone tissue that supports that tooth. If you have a loose tooth — especially if accompanied by any of these other symptoms — you may need to undergo a root canal to protect you from a serious, worsening and potentially spreading infection.