Root canals are one of the most commonly avoided dental procedures due to the myths associated with the treatment. It is generally assumed that the treatment is painful—when it is anything but!
Root canals actually relieve the pain of an infected tooth, but the procedure itself is virtually painless.
But before getting a root canal procedure—also known as endodontic therapy—you need to first understand what it is. There are a few common signs to look out for to find out whether your tooth needs a root canal:
What is a Root Canal?
The root canal generally refers to two things: the path inside the tooth between the pulp and the root that holds the nerves and blood vessels; also the procedure which removes infected material from within the root canal.
In cases of cavities due to decay, damage or disease, the hole can become big enough to permeate into the soft pulp inside the tooth. Because this pulp holds the nerves within it, any foreign body entering into this cavity can cause severe pain.
A root canal generally removes the nerves from an infected tooth, which serve no purpose other than sensing heat and cold. Removing these can result in relief from pain, and does not affect your ability to bite or chew food once the cavity has been covered with a protective filling.
Common Symptoms of Root Canals
Root Canal pain is different from pain associated with other dental problems. It is persistent and generally gets worse when chewing, or when you apply any kind of pressure to the affected area. You may experience throbbing in the tooth, and pain associated with root canals typically lasts longer, sometimes for minutes or even hours.
Gum Swelling and Infection
A common symptom associated with a root canal infection, gums surrounding the affected tooth may start swelling and showing signs of infection. Gums may become tender, swollen or red, or may even start developing pus-filled blisters or start bleeding.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Root canals generally affect the nerves located in the pulp, which are responsible for sensing cold and hot stimuli. In case of infection, the nerves can become extra sensitive, resulting in increased sensitivity. This kind of sensitivity generally persists even after the hot or cold stimulus has been removed.
Darkening of the tooth
In some cases, the infected tooth can start browning or showing dark spots. This is often the surest sign your tooth needs professional help.
Get Your Root Canal Treatment Done Today
If you’ve detected any of the above symptoms and fear you might need a root canal treatment, book an appointment with us today and get the highest quality of root canal treatment with our state of the art technology.
With over 20 years of experience, Bethesda Dental Health’s dentists have the expertise required to make your root canal procedure as painless as possible.