Would you be able to tell if you needed a root canal? Although often developed gradually and subtly, infected tooth pulp can cause a few signs and symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. Root canal therapy, offered by your Salisbury, MD, dentist, Dr. Kathleen Geipe, can help save your tooth and stop your painful symptoms. Read on to learn if this treatment is right for you.
Why are root canals performed?
Once a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, you're at risk of losing it. During a root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and replaced with a special filling. If you don't undergo the treatment, the tooth will eventually fall out.
In addition to preserving your teeth, root canals also ease your tooth pain and prevent the spread of infection. Although people often joke about root canal pain, your comfort is paramount during treatment. Your Salisbury dentist will also numb your mouth with a local anesthetic to ensure that the procedure is painless.
What are root canal signs and symptoms?
You might think that you would have to be in severe pain in order to need a root canal, but that's not always true. Pain can be mild or severe, intermittent or constant. Your tooth may hurt when you bite or chew, or even press on it with your finger. You may also notice that your tooth is particularly sensitive to hot, cold, or sugary foods/drinks to the point of being painful.
In addition to pain, symptoms can include:
- Red Gum: The gum around your tooth may swell or look red. Touching it may cause pain.
- A Change in Tooth Color: Your tooth may darken if you have an inflammation or infection.
- A Fever: A fever, in addition to tooth pain, may be a symptom of a bacterial abscess. Abscesses are bacterial infections that are considered dental emergencies. Without antibiotics and root canal therapy, the infection can travel to the heart or brain. Other abscess symptoms may include facial swelling around your jaw, swollen lymph nodes, a pimple-like bump on your gum, or collection of pus around the tooth.
You may also need a root canal due to tooth trauma, even if you don't notice any immediate changes to your tooth. It's always a good idea to visit the dentist if you have experienced a hard blow to a tooth.
Concerned? Give us a call
Do you have any of these signs of inflammation or infection? If so, call your Salisbury, MD, dentist, Dr. Kathleen Geipe, at (410) 543-0599 to schedule an appointment.