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5 Signs You Might Need Root Canal Therapy
As a general rule, teeth should not be sensitive to the point where you are forced to change your normal behavior and dietary habits. If a toothache lasts a day or longer, you should contact your general dentist as soon as possible to obtain an examination. Even if this toothache later goes away, it still might signify that your tooth has become infected.
Here are five common symptoms that indicate you probably need root canal therapy:
- Lingering pain when consuming very hot or very cold liquids/foods
- Your tooth is sensitive to touch or slight pressure, accompanied by minor swelling in the surrounding gums
- A toothache wakes you up at night and requires pain medication for relief
- A raised bump on your gum releases blood or pus when pressed
- Pain starts at one tooth and radiates to other regions of your head and/or jaw (e.g. an ear ache)
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, now or in the past, it is best to contact your general dentist for an examination. Symptoms can come and go as your body struggles to keep the infection in check. The earlier you identify a threatened tooth and have endodontic treatment performed, the easier the process will be, and the better the chance of your tooth staying healthy and functional for a lifetime.
Though pain or discomfort in your teeth or gums often signals the need for endodontic treatment, a root canal might not always be necessary. For example, if you have brief pain when drinking hot or cold liquids, but the pain goes away immediately, this is a normal response. Only if the pain lingers does it signify a possible infection. Meanwhile, pain in a group of teeth that is aggravated when you jump or walk downstairs usually indicates a condition called sinusitis, which does not require a root canal.
In every case, however, it is best to obtain x-rays from your general dentist in response to any abnormal sensations you may be experiencing. This way, your dentist can pinpoint the source of the problem and determine the best course of treatment.