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Do You Need a Root Canal? 5 Telltale Symptoms

Updated: Mar 8

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Are you experiencing persistent tooth pain that just won't go away? Are your gums swollen and tender to the touch? If so, it's possible that you may need a root canal. Now, before you panic at the thought of this dental procedure, let's take a closer look at what exactly a root canal is and how to identify if it's something you should consider. In this blog post, we'll delve into five telltale symptoms that might indicate the need for a root canal.

What Is A Root Canal

A root canal is a dental procedure that aims to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. It involves removing the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth, and cleaning out any infection or decay. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tooth, but once it becomes infected, it can cause excruciating pain. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will carefully remove the infected pulp and shape the hollowed-out area of the tooth. Afterward, they will fill this space with a special material called gutta-percha to seal off any potential sources of infection. In some cases, a crown may be placed on top of the treated tooth for added protection and strength. Now, you might be wondering how you ended up needing a root canal in the first place. Well, there are several factors that can contribute to this situation. Tooth decay is one common culprit - when cavities are left untreated for too long without proper dental care, they can extend into deeper layers of the tooth and reach its delicate pulp. Another cause could be an injury or trauma to your teeth. If you've experienced a hard blow or physical impact that has cracked or fractured your tooth's structure, bacteria may enter through these openings and lead to an infection within the inner tissues. In some cases, previous dental procedures such as multiple fillings or crowns can weaken your teeth over time and make them more susceptible to infections deep within their roots.Regardless of how you ended up needing a root canal treatment, it's important not to ignore any symptoms that may indicate its necessity. Early detection is key in preventing further damage and preserving your natural teeth for as long as possible

5 Common Symptoms That Indicate You May Need A Root Canal.

Are you experiencing persistent tooth pain that just won't go away? It could be a sign that you may need a root canal. Root canals are dental procedures designed to treat and save your natural tooth when the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected or inflamed.

  • One common symptom of needing a root canal is severe toothache. This pain is often described as throbbing or constant and can sometimes radiate to other areas of the face. Another indication is increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. If you find yourself wincing in pain every time you take a sip of coffee or bite into an ice cream cone, it might be time for a root canal.

  • Swelling around the affected tooth is another red flag for potential root canal treatment. This swelling can occur on the gum line near the infected area and may also cause tenderness or drainage of pus. Additionally, if you notice discoloration of the tooth, such as darkening or graying, this could indicate an infection deep within the structure.

  • An abscessed tooth is yet another symptom that points towards needing a root canal. An abscess occurs when there is an accumulation of pus at the tip of your tooth's roots due to bacterial infection. This condition often presents with severe pain, swollen lymph nodes in the neck or jaw area, fever, and general feelings of illness.

  • If you experience prolonged sensitivity to touch or pressure on a specific tooth while eating or biting down, it could be indicative of nerve damage requiring a root canal procedure.

If any combination of these symptoms persists over time, it's crucial to consult with your dentist promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment options tailored specifically to your needs.

How do I choose the right dentist to perform my root canal?

Before deciding to have a root canal, it’s important to consider who will be performing the procedure. You should choose a dentist who is highly experienced and has performed the procedure many times before, like the one in our practice.

It’s also important to compare your options for sedation. Nitrous oxide is a great sedation option, as it’s easy to use and wears off quickly.

After your root canal procedure, it’s important to visit your dentist for regular checkups. This will help keep the treated tooth healthy and strong.


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, it is important to consult with your dentist as soon as possible. While these symptoms may indicate that you need a root canal, only a dental professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment. Remember, early detection and intervention are key when it comes to maintaining good oral health. Ignoring or delaying treatment for potential root canal issues can lead to further complications and potentially more invasive procedures down the line. So, pay attention to your dental health and don't ignore any signs of trouble. Regular dental check-ups coupled with proper oral hygiene practices will go a long way in preventing serious dental problems like root canal infections. If you suspect that you might need a root canal or have any concerns about your oral health, reach out to your dentist today. They will be able to assess your condition properly and guide you towards the most appropriate treatment options. Take care of those pearly whites – they deserve it! To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque NM, Dr. Snyder, call (505)-293-7611, schedule an online consultation or visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.



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