5 Signs That You May Need A Root Canal

May 1, 2023

Dental trauma or an untreated cavity can sometimes reach the inner tooth pulp and infect the root. When that happens, a root canal is the only way to save your tooth. Here are five signs you may need one.

Following good oral hygiene techniques like regular brushing and flossing goes a long way in keeping your teeth and gums strong and healthy.  

But sometimes, dental trauma or an unnoticed cavity can reach the inner pulp and infect the tooth root. When that happens, a root canal is the only way to remove the infected pulp and save your tooth.  

Read on as Dr. Thi Hoang, Dr. Theresa Hoang, and our expert team at Los Positas Family Dental identify five signs that you may be in need of a tooth-saving root canal.  

1. Sensitivity to cold or hot

Temperature-sensitive enamel — or sensitivity to cold and hot — can be a normal reaction when biting directly into cold or hot foods, or sipping hot or cold beverages. But when the sensitivity is sudden, extreme, or lasts for longer than several minutes, however, it can be an indication that something is wrong with your tooth. 

2. Tooth pain

While you may occasionally have a temporarily sore or painful tooth, there’s usually a reason for dental discomfort. Any unexplained toothache, whether it’s dull, sore, or sharp, should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible. 

Unexplained dental pain means something is wrong, and it’s important to have it checked to determine whether or not you may be in need of a root canal. 

3. Tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration is a normal process of life, as many of the foods and drinks you consume can stain your teeth. We can often lift away normal external discoloration through an in-office professional cleaning treatment.  

If the discoloration can’t be removed, however, it’s likely from an internal cause. Internal discoloration is not always serious, but it can signify that the tooth is beginning to die. 

If your discoloration doesn’t go away with professional cleaning or whitening, it’s important to have it examined for the kind of deep decay that requires a root canal treatment.  

4. Tender, bleeding gums

Red, bleeding, or tender gum tissues can be a sign of underlying problems like gum disease or severe tooth decay. Alongside red or tender gums, you may notice a small “pimple” near the infected tooth.  

This “pimple” is actually a small boil filled with pus that a dentist must drain. Do not attempt to drain a gum boil on your own. If you notice any swelling or draining in your gums, have our team examine it immediately.  

5. Pressure sensitivity 

Some pressure sensitivity is normal when biting into something hard or applying extra pressure to your teeth. If you have pressure sensitivity when chewing soft foods or applying light to normal pressure, however, a more severe dental problem may be present. 

At Las Positas Family Dental in Livermore, California, our expert team can help restore your teeth and smile. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, give us a call today or book an appointment online any time.