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Do You Need a Root Canal? 5 Telltale Symptoms

Do You Need a Root Canal? 5 Telltale Symptoms

Are you experiencing persistent tooth pain or sensitivity? It could be a sign that you need a root canal. Now, before you start panicking and picturing yourself in the dentist's chair, take a deep breath. Root canals may have a bad reputation, but they are actually very common dental procedures that can save your tooth and relieve your discomfort. In this blog post, we will explore five telltale symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal. So sit back, relax (as much as possible when discussing dental procedures!), and let's dive into the world of root canals!

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat and save an infected or damaged tooth. It involves removing the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth, and cleaning out any infection or bacteria that may be present. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, so once it's removed, the tooth can still function without it.

The need for a root canal typically arises when there is severe decay or damage to the tooth. This can occur due to deep cavities, cracks in the tooth, trauma from injury, or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth. If left untreated, an infected tooth can lead to serious complications such as abscesses or even bone loss.

During a root canal procedure, your dentist will first numb the area around your affected tooth with local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable throughout the process. Then, they will create a small hole in your tooth to access and remove the infected pulp using specialized tools.

Once all of this has been done successfully (and painlessly!), your dentist will fill and seal off the space where the pulp was removed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. In some cases where significant amounts of natural tooth structure have been lost due to decay or damage, a crown may be placed over your treated tooth for added protection and strength.

5 Telltale Symptoms of a Needed Root Canal

If you've been experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, it could be a sign that you need a root canal. Root canals are necessary when the soft tissue inside the tooth, known as the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed. Ignoring the symptoms of a needed root canal can result in further complications and even tooth loss.

  • One telltale symptom of needing a root canal is a persistent and severe toothache. This pain may worsen with pressure or chewing and can radiate to other areas of the face or jaw.
  • Another common symptom is sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. If your teeth react strongly to temperature changes, this could indicate an infection within the tooth.
  • Swelling around the affected tooth is another red flag for a needed root canal. The gums may appear swollen or tender to the touch. In some cases, there may also be visible signs, such as a pimple-like bump on the gum near the affected area.
  • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth that won't go away might also signal an issue requiring a root canal treatment. This occurs when bacteria from the infected pulp spread into surrounding tissues and cause an oral infection.
  • If you notice any discoloration of your tooth, it could be indicative of decay or damage to the nerve inside. Discoloration ranges from darkening to grayish-black hues.

Remember, these symptoms are not always definitive proof that you need a root canal; only a proper dental examination by a professional can determine that for certain! So, if you're experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away!


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, it is essential to consult with your dentist as soon as possible. Remember that while these symptoms may indicate a need for a root canal, only a professional can confirm the diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Root canals have come a long way in terms of comfort and effectiveness. With modern advancements in dentistry, the procedure is now relatively painless and can help save your natural tooth from extraction.

Ignoring the signs of an infected or damaged tooth can lead to more severe oral health issues down the line. Don't let fear or uncertainty prevent you from seeking proper dental care. Your dentist will be able to evaluate your specific situation and guide you through each step of the root canal process.

Remember, early detection and prompt treatment are key when it comes to maintaining good oral health. So if you suspect that you might need a root canal, don't delay – schedule an appointment with your dentist today!

Take care of your teeth, listen to what they're telling you, and prioritize your oral health for a brighter smile tomorrow!


713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401

Office Hours

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TUE Closed

WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

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Phone: (573) 368-7325


1116 S. Main Street, Salem MO 65560

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

WED - THU Closed

FRI 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch


Phone: (573) 729-7701