More often than not, when people suffer from a toothache they wonder – ‘Do I need a root canal?’ The answer is, not necessarily. Yes, toothache is one of the signs of an infection, but it does not always result in the need for an endodontic treatment.
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is performed when the tooth’s pulp or nerves become infected due to cavities. Cavities do not always lead to the root canal treatment. However, when the decay is not treated in time and extends to the core of the tooth, it can then cause serious infections and may even lead to the removal of the tooth. Root canal saves your natural tooth by treating this damage. Various symptoms signify the need for a root canal. Here are some of them:
Sharp Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is one of the most common signs that you need a root canal treatment. If you experience a sharp pain while brushing, having hot or cold food or beverages or chewing, you may have a tooth infection/abscess. In such cases you may need a root canal. If you experience pain which gradually reduces, then don’t think the problem ends here. Many patients who need a root canal, experience no pain at all. This is because in some cases, the tooth nerves die due to extensive infection. As a result, you feel no sensation.
Swelling of the Gum Area
Severe decay inside the tooth can affect the surrounding gum area and lead to swelling. This may or may not be painful. But, it can result in serious infections if not treated in time. Many patients even spot a boil or a pimple on the infected area. This can bleed and even release pus. A large localized point of swelling beside the tooth should not be neglected as it may be the symptom that you need a root canal.
Cavities are a common occurrence. But if overlooked, the decay penetrates into the enamel and spreads to the tooth nerves, gradually killing them. The dead pulp can sometimes cause no pain and occasionally will cause discoloration, although this is not common. If you spot a darkened or discolored tooth, then you might require a root canal therapy.