The 5 Signs You Need a Root Canal

The 5 Signs You Need a Root Canal

Team Endodontics, Root Canal

A root canal is a tooth-saving procedure that is used to treat or prevent infection. In many cases a root canal performed at the right time can restore the health of a tooth and allow it to remain in place for the rest of your life.

When is the right time for a root canal? The following 5 signs often indicate that root canal treatment is necessary. 


If your tooth hurts constantly, such as a throbbing or aching pain, it is most likely infected and in need of a root canal. The dental pulp inside the tooth is soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves that sustain the tooth. When the pulp gets infected the nerves will be sure to send the message to your brain that there is a problem. 

2.Discolored tooth. 

An infection or damage to the dental pulp can result in internal bleeding or dead tissue left behind. This causes the tooth to appear discolored, like a gray or brown tint that originates from the inside. If one tooth is significantly darker than the others, you may need a root canal. 

3.Pain when chewing. 

A tooth that is in the early stages of infection, or that is damaged and at-risk of infection, may only hurt when you chew on that side. If you experience pain when chewing in a certain area of your mouth, there may be a tooth that needs a root canal. 

4.Lingering sensitivity. 

When a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or damaged in some way, it may be extremely sensitive. This occurs due to exposure of the nerves inside the tooth. If a tooth is particularly sensitive to cold, heat, and/or sugar, and if the sensitivity lingers after the cause is removed, the tooth may need a root canal. 

5.Inflamed or swollen gums. 

Another sign of an infected tooth is inflamed or swollen gums. The gum tissue is often irritated by the infection and may even develop an abscess, a white bump on the gums. If you have a sore spot on your gums in a certain area of your mouth, you may have a tooth that needs a root canal. Widespread gum inflammation across larger areas of your mouth may indicate gum disease instead. 

What is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is the process of treating an infected or at-risk tooth. A small hole is made in the tooth and the dental pulp is extracted. The root canal is thoroughly flushed out and disinfected to remove all of the infection and any remaining pulp. Then the tooth is filled with a replacement material that fortifies the tooth and prevents infection. In most cases a crown will be placed over the tooth to complete the process. A crown provides protection and allows the natural root of the tooth to remain in place. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

Does a root canal hurt? 

Local anesthesia is used for root canal treatment to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. Patients who are nervous or anxious can choose to have additional sedation to feel more relaxed. A root canal is no more uncomfortable than a routine cavity filling. 

Can you put off a root canal?

A root canal should be performed as soon as you experience any of the above symptoms. In many cases dentists and endodontists will perform proactive root canals on teeth that are at-risk of infection. The sooner a tooth is treated, the better the chance that it can be saved. 

Why Choose Eagle Endodontics for Root Canal Treatment?

Most general dentists can perform root canals. However, endodontists specialize in root canal treatment and other services related to the treatment and health of teeth from the inside. Eagle Endodontics provides root canal treatment with the utmost precision and thoroughness. Our goal is to save your natural teeth whenever possible and prevent the need for retreatment. We achieve this through technology and experience. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.