WHAT ARE SOME of the signs that indicate a tooth might be in need of root canal therapy?
1. The tooth is loose.
If an adult tooth is loose, it’s a problem and often a symptom of infection or the result of an injury. In either case, it needs the attention of a dental professional. When a tooth dies, the acidic waste products can make the bone around the root softer.
2. The tooth is chipped or cracked.
An otherwise healthy tooth that becomes damaged (whether by an accident or even cracking while chewing on something hard) may need root canal therapy. Even injuries without visible damage above the gum line may require treatment.
3. There is sensitivity or tooth pain.
If the tooth hurts when putting pressure on it, it could have severe decay or nerve damage, especially if the pain lasts after removing the pressure. A long-lasting toothache can also be a sign it’s time to see the endodontist.
4. The gum tissue is swollen.
The gums swelling around a painful tooth are a good indicator that the tooth is in trouble. The swelling might come or go and could be tender to the touch. It could be associated with an abscess.
5. The tooth is discolored.
An infected tooth sometimes changes colors. This is different than a surface-level stain; in this case, a tooth takes on a grayish-black appearance, indicating the breakdown of the pulp inside. This kind of discoloration is definitely an indicator that root canal therapy is needed.