How To Know If You Need A Root Canal Treatment Or Not

A root canal is one of the most popular dental solutions to a decayed tooth. It is a procedure used to cleanse the root and pulp of a tooth and remove the decay. The human teeth have an exterior layer made of enamel for protection. It also has another layer of dentin as well as a soft tissue core, which extends into the root of the jawbone.

The dental pulp is in the core, and it consists of the nerves, connective tissues and the blood vessels. The pulp becomes vulnerable to infection or inflammation when decay breaks the enamel and gets into the soft portion. At this stage, a patient needs a root canal to remove all the decay from the core of the teeth.

However, many have been wondering when and how to know if they require a root canal. Are there some symptoms one would have to see or experience to know if they need this procedure? In this guide, we will be walking you through some of the most common signs that signal the fact that you need to undergo a root canal treatment.

Signs That You Require A Root Canal Procedure

The root canal treatment involves a through removal and cleaning of the decay in the roots of the teeth and thus saving the infected tooth. This process is carried out only by qualified orthodontic specialists. During the process, your orthodontist will:

Remove decay and bacteria from the root, nerve, and pulp of the tooth.

Disinfect the affected area with antibiotics.

After the extraction, the roots will be empty, so the dentist will fill it.

They will also seal the area to prevent more decay.

Here are some of the signs that you require a root canal treatment:

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain does not always mean that one needs a root canal. However, it means that something is not right. If you are having persistent tooth pain, you should visit a professional for tooth pain — an endodontist, as there is no better way to determine what the actual cause of the pain could be.

Tooth pain is of different levels — for some, it might be mild; whereas for others, it might be severe. For some people, the pain might come and go while it can be constant for others. The pain can last for days or even weeks, or you might only feel it when you are chewing.

Most times, root canal pains start with very little discomfort in the infected tooth. As it progresses, it will become very painful and make the tooth more sensitive. If you do not tackle the issue at this stage, it can develop into an infection, which may damage the tooth. Hence, once you start noticing mild discomfort to severe pain in your tooth, you should contact your orthodontist to know if you need to undergo a root canal procedure.

Temperature Sensitivity

While sensitive teeth or dentin hypersensitivity might be caused by other factors, it still turns out to be of the signs that you may require a root canal procedure. Most times, a new sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures can be the only external sign that you need the treatment.

At the tender stage, the discomfort might be mild. It can also get to the point where you would be avoiding cold and hot foods and drinks, as they might take your breath away. At this point, you should book an appointment with your dentist, as they are in the best position to find the source of your pain and determine if you require a root canal procedure.

Chipped Or Cracked Tooth

You can get chipped or cracked teeth from being involved in an accident, contact sports, consuming hard food items, or even a poorly conducted dental procedure. A chipped or cracked tooth leaves the nerves below the surface of the tooth exposed, which can result in an infection.

If a tooth is infected, the infection can get to the bloodstream as well and spread to other parts of the body, which is dangerous for your overall health and well-being. To prevent the infection from spreading through the bloodstream, a root canal procedure is required. This dental procedure will get rid of the infection before it can spread to other parts of the body.

Dark Discoloration of the Teeth

Discolored teeth can be caused due to several reasons, including exposure to drinks and food that stains the tooth enamel, poor hygiene, or nerve damage underneath the surface of the tooth. If you have any damaged blood vessels or nerves, your orthodontist will examine you and book you for a root canal procedure to remove the damaged root.

Deep Decay

Another significant sign that you need to have a root canal treatment is when you have deep decay. If you have deep decay in the base of your tooth, no amount of flossing, brushing, or rinsing of your mouth can get rid of the issue. If you neglect a cavity for a long time, it will spread to other parts of the tooth, including the nerve and root. If this is the case, then the best solution you have is a root canal.

This is why it is very important to visit your dentist regularly and take care of your oral health on a daily basis. When you neglect your gums and teeth, disease and infection can spread easily and cause more damage and pain.

Swollen Gum

One of the signs that there is an issue underneath the surface of the teeth is swollen gums. If you have swollen or painful gums, you need to contact your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will take a closer look at the swollen gums to see if it was caused by inflammation. Sometimes, the solution to a swollen gum is a root canal. If the issue of inflamed gums is not reducing or getting better, then a root canal is needed.


An infection inside the root and pulp of your teeth can cause pain and discomfort. There is a wide range of tooth conditions that can cause discomfort and pain. However, if the pain and discomfort are persistent, you should consult a dentist to examine it. They will guide you if you require to undergo a root canal treatment.