You may need a root canal if you have severe tooth pain caused by either severe tooth decay or a bad infection.

A root canal treatment is required to repair a damaged tooth, preventing it from being extracted. The treatment is called a root canal, as it involves cleaning out the internal canals of the tooth, which spreads into the root of the tooth.

While root canals have a negative reputation for being painful, modern dental anaesthetics have advanced significantly, making most root canal procedures painless. In addition, living with a decaying or infected tooth is far more painful than a quick root canal procedure that is no more painful than a filling placement.

Signs That You Need a Root Canal

What are the signs that you may need a root canal to repair a damaged tooth?

The core of your teeth contains a soft pulp known as “dental pulp.” This pulp is found in the main body of your teeth (referred to as the “crown”) and spreads down to the root of your teeth. This pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue susceptible to infection. When a tooth is damaged, bacteria seep into the crack and enter the pulp.

Any pain in your mouth should be reported to your dentist, but certain types of pain may indicate root canal pain.

If you experience sudden pain like a wave, you may have a dead or infected tooth that needs a root canal.

Are there any positions in which your gums or teeth hurt the most? For example, is there pressure on your teeth and face when you lie down or bend down? It could be the result of root canal pain.

Some of these signs that you may need a root canal include:

  • A chip, hole, or crack in the tooth.
  • Significant toothache pain while eating, or severe tooth pain when you pressure the tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness of the gum area surrounding the tooth
  • Additional swelling around the neck and face
  • A lesion or abscess formed on the gum area surrounding the tooth, similar to a small blister or pimple
  • Intense pain or sensitivity in the tooth, when exposed to either hot or cold food/drink that persists after the hot or cold food/drink, is removed.
  • Discolouration or darkening of the tooth