Root canal treatment is often recommended when a tooth is infected or inflamed from either injury or decay. A root canal is needed when the nerve inside a tooth is injured to the stage it has died and is no longer able to rehabilitate on its own. Root canal treatment is utilized to remove the damaged or diseased nerve tissue so the natural tooth can be preserved rather than extracted.
An infected tooth usually gives plenty of signals that you should see your dentist.
Some symptoms may indicate the necessity for root canal treatment, and you should make your dentist aware of any of the following warning signs:
- Severe pain caused by hot or cold triggers
- Pain caused by biting or chewing
- Pain with no specific cause, or pain that lasts longer than 10 seconds
- A foul odor or taste near the aching or injured tooth
- A large visible cavity that compromises the integrity of the tooth
- Pus draining from the affected area
- Swelling in your jaw or neck near the affected tooth
- Tooth discoloration or darkening
- Swelling and irritation in the gum tissue surrounding the affected tooth
The level of discomfort you experience may vary from slight to extreme and may throb as if it has its own heartbeat. The pain may also lessen or intensify as you change your position, such as going from sitting to standing. Teeth that may ultimately require root canal treatment can cause discomfort enough to wake you from your sleep, or they may cause very little pain. If you are experiencing any of these signs, you could need a root canal procedure and should contact your dentist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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