When you need a root canal, the last thing you want to hear is that “you should have come in sooner.”

You’re likely already in a lot of pain and discomfort, and all you’re looking for is some immediate relief.

So, to help you avoid the added stress of wondering when you should book in for a root canal, we’re going to cover the main symptoms you’ll be experiencing if you need this dental procedure.

Why do you need a root canal?

Before we get into the signs and symptoms, it’s important to understand why an invasive procedure like a dental root canal might be needed.

Root canals are needed when there’s bacterial decay or infection deep inside the pulp and roots of a tooth. If left untreated, it will not only cause severe pain and discomfort, but it can also threaten overall health — after all, bacteria will just keep on growing without intervention.

What happens during a root canal procedure?

Performed by dentists and endodontists (specialty dentists who study and treat dental pulp), your problem tooth is in good hands. Like a tiny Roto-Rooter, your dentist will bore inside the tooth and suck out any decaying tissue. Not only does this procedure offer patients immediate pain relief, but it also stops bacteria in its harmful tracks.

A root canal procedure is pretty straightforward, and your dentist will:

  1. Administer a local anesthetic so you won’t feel pain during the procedure
  2. Carefully drill inside the affected tooth and remove the decaying tissue
  3. Fill the empty canals with artificial roots to preserve your tooth’s integrity
  4. Seal your tooth back up to prevent any new decay from getting inside

Signs you need a root canal

To help you determine when you should book a check-up with the dentist for a root canal procedure, review the symptoms below:

  • Intense pain while chewing
  • Hot/cold tooth sensitivity that lingers even after the sensation is removed
  • Changes in gum health (swelling, darkening, pimpling, etc.)

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should book a check-up with your dentist as soon as possible.