What is a Root Canal?
A tooth is essentially a crown (the top part you can see) and a root (the part that is under the tooth, connected to the jaw). Inside the crown and root is the canal that contains the pulp, which has nerve tissues, blood vessels, and other cells.
When the pulp becomes injured or infected, a root canal procedure is necessary in order to save the structure of the tooth. The crown of the tooth can remain completely intact even though the pulp is dead.
Signs you may need a root canal treatment:
- Severe Pain – Any type of mouth pain is unpleasant and should be brought to the attention of your dentist, but specific types of pain can mean you need a root canal. If the pain you are experiencing hits you in waves or if your teeth & gums hurt worse in certain positions, you may need a root canal. Talk to a dentist on the Duren & Marsh team about any pain you may be feeling.
- Bumps/Pimples on Your Gums – Bumps on your gums, also known as fistulas, could be a sign of an infected tooth that needs a root canal.
- Sensitivity to Hot & Cold – Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink is common and doesn’t always mean you need a root canal. However, if the pain lingers for a long time after you ate or drank, then you need to talk to a dentist as soon as possible.
- Swollen or Darkening of Gum – Swollen gums that are tender and painful, even long after brushing them, may be a sign you need root canal therapy. Also, if you notice your gums darkening, this means that they are decaying from an infection in the tooth. Talk to a dentist right away!
- Chipped or Cracked Tooth – Whether your tooth is chipped/cracked from trauma or because it is already severely decayed, you may need a root canal.
- An Abscess – This is a dark spot that can only be seen on an x-ray. This is essentially a hole in the jawbone because the bone won’t grow around an infection.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact us right away so we can schedule you to come in and get a professional assessment from Dr. Duren & Dr. Marsh.