July 15, 2019
For many people, the words “root canal” are some of the scariest words in the English language. The procedure has a reputation of being painful. However, the pain associated with those words actually comes from the pain they experience before treatment. The procedure itself doesn’t hurt any more than getting a simple filling. But what exactly is a root canal? And how do you know when you need a root canal in Lancaster? Let’s look at 7 signs that a root canal may be necessary.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when there is an infection or decay deep inside the tooth. Your dentist in Lancaster will numb the area, create a small hole in the tooth, and remove the diseased or damaged pulp from inside the tooth. Then, he or she will replace the pulp with a synthetic material, seal up the hole, and cover the tooth with a crown. Now that you know what it is, let’s learn about 7 signs you may need a root canal.
1. Constant Pain
This is one of the most common symptoms. If just eating or drinking fills you with pain, see your dentist as soon as possible. If you have an infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to see if that can solve the problem before resorting to a root canal.
2. Sensitivity to Heat and Cold
If drinking hot coffee or cold water makes your mouth sear with pain, you might have an infected tooth. Damaged blood vessels and nerve endings may be the cause of your problem.
3. Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If you’re involved in contact sports and you sustain an injury to your tooth, you’ll want to see your dentist. A crack or chip in the tooth can leave it more vulnerable to decay in the pulp.
4. Swollen Gum Area
Swollen gums are typically a sign that something is wrong in that area. If antibiotics or an improved oral hygiene regimen do not get rid of your swelling, your dentist may suggest a root canal.
5. Discoloration of the Tooth
Yellowing teeth are a normal sign of aging. However, if one tooth is more discolored than the others, it may be a sign of infection. Ask your dentist to examine that tooth.
6. Sensitivity That Lasts a Long Time
If you experience sensitivity that last for weeks or even months without subsiding, you should alert your dentist. This is a sign that decay has spread to the pulp. A root canal can not only relieve this discomfort, but also prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth.
7. Deep Decay
When you have a cavity, it can be a bit of a hassle to go get it filled. However, cavities don’t get better on their own. In fact, when left alone, they get worse. The decay can spread to the sensitive inner layer of your tooth. Make sure you get your cavities filled as soon as possible to lower your chances of needing a root canal.
When you have a problem in your mouth, no matter what it is, it’s important to not put off seeking help from your dentist. Oftentimes this can make treatment more expensive than it needs to be. More importantly, remember that a root canal does not hurt, and can in fact make your pain go away. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, call your dentist right away.
About the Author
Dr. Mahima Gupta completed a four-year dental degree and one-year residency in India before moving to the United States and achieving a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from New York University. Because of her diverse background, she understands how to work with many different patients in Lancaster, TX. To learn more about how she can treat your tooth with a root canal, click here or call (469)-729-7707.
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