Signs That a Root Canal Procedure May Be Needed

Raphael Arwas, DDS, is a licensed oral health provider in Florida. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, he has been practicing out of his own dental office, Hallandale Beach Dental, since 2008. At his office, Dr. Raphael Arwas focuses on providing cosmetic and general dentistry services including root canal treatment.

Root canals are used when a tooth nerve has been damaged beyond repair. While a dentist is needed to determine whether a root canal procedure is necessary or not, there are several signs people can look out for that may indicate they need a root canal. Tooth pain, ranging from minor discomfort to severe, is one of the most common signs. Severe pain may be so bad an individual wakes up from sleeping and most pain will be located along the jaw and even up to the temples. Changes in pain level may occur depending on the position of the head, and biting or chewing may cause sudden bursts in pain.

Teeth that require a root canal also exhibit extreme sensitivity to temperature. While teeth typically react to cold temperatures, a normal reaction goes away fairly rapidly while one caused by a damaged root lingers after the cold stimuli is gone. The affected tooth may also darken in color compared to those around it and the gum above the tooth may swell.