4 Warning Signs You Need a Root Canal

4 Warning Signs You Need a Root Canal

Have you been putting off a trip to the dentist? Many people delay these important visits for as long as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not doing you any favors in the long run; it could even be making problems worse — especially if you need a root canal.

Root canals really have a bad reputation, but they don’t live up to the “scary” or “painful” hype. In reality, this highly effective treatment protects your dental and oral health, addressing pain, inflammation, infection, and trauma. And it can reduce your risks of additional problems, like permanent tooth loss.

At SmileBoutique in Mount Vernon, New York, Dr. Wayne Hofflich saves teeth with root canals on a regular basis, whether the tooth sustained damage from trauma or extensive tooth decay. 

A root canal prevents the spread of infection and protects you from other oral health complications by removing the pulp from the inside of a tooth, stopping tooth decay in its tracks. Dr. Hofflich then fills the empty cavity with dental material and seals it, keeping out any harmful bacteria.

Could you need a root canal? These four key warning signs may offer clues.

1. Pain

Do you have tooth pain? It’s time to see your dentist. In fact, pain is almost always a clear sign that it’s time to schedule a visit. When you have deep areas of decay within a tooth, it can lead to shooting or persistent pain in the area.

root canal allows Dr. Hofflich to clear away decay, remove inflamed pulp, and cover the affected tooth with a protective crown. This saves as much of your existing tooth structure as possible, including the root embedded in your gums.

2. Tooth sensitivity

Pain isn’t the only sign of a problem. You should consider any abnormal sensation in your teeth to be a red flag — for example, increased sensitivity to heat and cold. 

Does exposing your tooth to hot or cold foods or beverages trigger a sharp pain or dull ache? These feelings can indicate the presence of deep tooth decay that needs attention, either through a root canal or another restorative dentistry procedure. Don’t ignore tooth sensitivity; schedule a checkup with Dr. Hofflich.

3. A cracked or broken tooth

If you fracture a tooth in any way, you need to see Dr. Hofflich. A break or crack can lead to tooth pain and increased risk of infection, which a root canal can address to protect your oral health. Consider cracked or broken teeth a dental emergency, especially if exposed tooth nerves cause extreme pain.

4. Swollen or inflamed gums

Tooth decay can also infect gum tissue, triggering redness and swelling. Infection in the gum tissue is known as periodontal (gum) disease, and it’s a serious health condition. That’s because infection doesn’t stay in your gums. It can continue spreading to other areas of your body, leading to more pervasive and serious health issues.

At the end of the day, the only real way to know if you need a root canal is by seeing an expert like Dr. Hofflich at SmileBoutique. If you have any dental symptoms, don’t wait to schedule an appointment.

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