Studies show that over fifteen million root canal procedures take place in the United States alone each year. As a matter of fact, approximately twenty percent of adults have some form of untreated tooth decay. If unattended for a long period of time, this decay can develop and spread to other parts of the body. The root canal is actually part of your tooth that comprises of passages inside the tooth that stretch between the tooth roots and the pulp. There is also the root canal procedure to clear infected material if you have damaged root canal passages. The root canal treatment is what eliminates the pain from your tooth. The treatment does not save a decayed or infected tooth; instead, it preserves an already dead tooth. With the treatment, you will not even notice the difference. So how can you tell that you need root canal treatment? Here are some sure signs.
Tooth sensitivity and pain
One way to know for sure that you need root canal treatment is if you are experiencing severe pain. The tooth will hurt when you chew things and basically when you touch it. At times, it will hurt even without any stimulation and give off an excruciating pain that may increase or lessen depending on if you are standing, sitting or lying down. The pain can either be strong or weak, sometimes strong enough to wake you up from your sleep. Another sign that you require root canal treatment is when you have referred pain. This is pain that will spread to other areas such as your head or mouth. If you have a root canal problem on one of your molars, you could feel the pain in your ear or even your jaw.
If you are experiencing lingering pain, it could be a sign that you need root canal treatment. For instance, your tooth will be oversensitive to cold or hot food or drinks. If you take ice cream or hot coffee, the pain will typically linger after you finish drinking. It can be as long as several hours or as little as half a minute. Mississauga dentists agree that tooth sensitivity is one of the major signs that you require root canal treatment.
Lumps adjacent to your tooth
You know that you need a root canal when a tiny red, yellow or white lump forms above your tooth or on your gum. This lump is similar to a pimple and Mississauga dentists refer to it as a fistula. The fistula fills with pus which can at times begin to drain and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. A dentist will definitely know that there is an infection in one of your teeth when they notice a fistula. Although the lump will usually appear above the infected tooth, that is not always the case.
Gum tenderness and gum swelling are other signs that you require a root canal treatment. The gums surrounding the infected tooth can swell up making the tooth seem longer or pushed out than the nearby teeth. Your gums may also become very sensitive to contact with food or touch.
A discolored tooth or one that becomes darker than adjacent teeth points out to a problem with the nerve growth inside the tooth. Usually, this happens if the tooth has experienced some kind of trauma like cracks, chips or being hit and the effects may not be evident until years after the initial event.
Root canal treatment has many steps involved and can last several hours. If you are unsure about tooth swelling or pain, always check with your dentist because they are in a position to correctly diagnose you and give you the right treatment. You can get the procedure from a general dentist because they are just as qualified and often charge less, but if you want, an endodontist can also do the job.