Four Signs That You Need a Root Canal

The words “root canal” strike fear in just about everyone. The truth is, this procedure doesn’t have to be scary and often can provide relief from tooth pain once and for all. But what is a root canal, and how do you know if you need one?


What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure that removes the infected or inflamed pulp from the inside of the affected tooth. This infected pulp can cause an abscess to form, leading to pain, discomfort, and further issue. At the first sign of an infection, a root canal should be performed.


There are several steps taken in a root canal procedure — including pain management — that allows your dentist or endodontist to save your natural tooth. Did you know that root canals are performed over 25 million times a year?


Four Signs that You Need a Root Canal

There are a few tried and true signs that you might need a root canal, but consulting your dentist or endodontist is always the best idea!


We’ve compiled four signs you should watch out for if you suspect you or someone you love might need a root canal soon.


  1. Tooth pain when eating or with applied pressure on the affected tooth
  2. Hot and cold sensitivity (even after the heat or cold has been removed)
  3. Chipped or cracked tooth
  4. Swelling or tenderness of surrounding gum tissue


Pain with Eating

Any pain that gets worse with chewing, biting down, or applying pressure on the tooth is worth checking out with your dentist or endodontist. It could be an easy fix or cause for more concern and treatment.


Temperature Sensitivity

Many people complain of tooth sensitivity, so it does not always mean you need a root canal. However, if this pain continues long after the heat or cold is removed, your tooth might need a root canal.


Chipped or Cracked Tooth

One of the most common reasons you might need a root canal is because of damage to the exterior of the tooth itself. Any cracks or chips in the tooth itself can let in bacteria that will frequently lead to infection within the interior of the tooth.

Swelling and Tenderness in the Surrounding Gum Tissue

The tooth isn’t the only thing that tips you off to your need for dental intervention. If the gum tissue surrounding the affected tooth is swollen or tender, it’s time to talk to your dentist.


I Need a Root Canal. What Next?

By identifying the symptoms you’re having, you can confidently schedule an appointment with a dentist or endodontist for a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Above all, don’t delay if you suspect your tooth might be infected. The sooner you take care of it, the sooner you’ll be on the road to a pain-free smile!


Tooth Problems Don’t Have to Be a Pain

South Center Endodontics has been proudly serving Tukwila, WA, and surrounding areas for over 30 years, and we’d love to provide you with the dental care you deserve. Still have questions or concerns? We’ve compiled a list of questions you can ask your endodontist before treatment, allowing you peace of mind throughout the process.


Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment today!

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