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7 Signs You Might Need a Root
Canal Procedure

7 Signs You Might Need a Root Canal Procedure

Author: Dr. Samson Lee, D.D.S.

Date: January 21st, 2021

root canal is one of the dental procedures we’re required to do quite often. This is necessary when the interior of a tooth has been damaged by infection or decay. During a root canal, our Scarborough dentist removes the root of the tooth including the blood vessels and nerves. The root area is then cleaned thoroughly and sealed to restore your tooth to its full functionality.

Here are 7 common root canal symptoms that show you have infection that needs to be addressed.

1. Persistent Dental Pain

Pain is often one of the earliest signs that you have a tooth root problem. If you find it hurts to eat and drink, it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible. Alternative causes of the pain could be:

  • gum disease
  •  a tooth cavity
  • referred pain from a sinus infection or a similar problem
  • a damaged tooth filling
  • an impacted tooth that may be infected.

If a dental examination shows that you have developed inflammation in the tooth root from an infection, however, antibiotics are not usually very helpful. A root canal procedure may be the best solution for relief.

2. Gum Swelling

Any form of gum inflammation and swelling is a sign of potential infection. The swelling might be accompanied by pain or raised bumps, and it could come and go without warning. Swellings that are tender to the touch or that ooze pus could be caused by an abscess. Root canal therapy is the best treatment for most of these conditions.

3. Tooth Discolouration

If one or more teeth begin changing to a darker shade, this could be caused either by poor oral hygiene or food and drink staining the enamel. It could also be the result of nerve damage below the surface of the tooth. During an examination, our dentists will identify whether a root canal in our Scarborough office will prevent further damage.

4. Tooth Sensitivity

If a tooth suddenly becomes sensitive to hot or cold substances, it could be a sign that the nerves or blood vessels are damaged. This is one of the most common root canal causes cited by patients consulting with our office to find out why they experience oral pain. Typically, irreversible inflammation of the nerve that necessitates a root canal presents with hot or cold sensitivity that lingers for over 30 seconds after the stimulus is removed. Spontaneous pain or pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night are also indications the inflammation will not get better without a root canal.

5. Pressure Sensitivity

If it hurts you to put pressure on a tooth, causing sensitivity that lasts for several days or weeks without improving, you could have a damaged tooth root. Getting an early examination followed by a root canal procedure in our Scarborough office can help you to prevent the infection from spreading, and eliminate the pain forever.

6. Deep Tooth Decay

When dental cavities are neglected or left for too long, they can spread down into the tooth root and affect the nerves. This will cause you pain and discomfort, an unpleasant odour on your breath, and could potentially affect your overall wellness. Cleaning out the decayed tooth and root area and sealing it with a dental crown is the best option for restoring the tooth and recapturing your attractive smile.

7. Cracked and Broken Tooth

A broken, cracked or chipped tooth can lose some of its enamel and result in the nerves below the surface becoming exposed. When this happens, it’s easier for bacteria to enter the area and cause tooth root infections to occur.

Instead of waiting for a problem to develop, an early visit to our dentists can prevent root canal pain. If you do develop a problem, getting it resolved as soon as possible can help you to avoid needing to have emergency root canal surgery.


For more information on getting a root canal in Scarborough, set up a consultation with our experienced, compassionate dental team. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to schedule an appointment today.

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