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5 Signs That You May Need a Root Canal

Everyone knows eating a good diet and exercising regularly can help keep us healthy. However, some people may not realize that brushing, flossing, and practicing good oral hygiene are critical as well. When problems occur such as decay or an infection in a tooth, a root canal can become necessary to prevent additional health issues. 

Here at Robert S. Nance, DDS, MS, PA, Dr. Nance and our highly trained staff provide a wide range of state-of-the-art endodontic care including root canals at our offices in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina. With our professional experience and compassionate environment we make this simple procedure as easy as possible.

Root canals explained

Also known as endodontic therapy, a root canal is one of the most frequently performed dental procedures, with more than 15 million done each year. Typically the nerve and/or pulp of a tooth become infected following an injury or due to decay or a cracked tooth. During a root canal, we remove them, then seal the tooth to prevent more damage and future infection. While the procedure may sound painful, modern technology has evolved to the extent that it is similar to having a filling placed in your tooth.

Since an infected tooth can have serious consequences, it is important to know the following five signs indicating you may need a root canal.

1. Pain

Whether it's a persistent dull ache, a sharp or shooting pain, or some other form of discomfort, any unexplained toothache should get checked to make sure it's not an infection or injury to the tooth itself.

2. Hot or cold sensitivity

Some amount of sensitivity to hot and cold is normal, such as when biting into food directly or eating ice cream. The discomfort is typically bearable and doesn't last long. However, if you find yourself experiencing extreme sensitivity, or the feeling lasts for hours after exposure, it may be a sign of an infected tooth and need for a root canal.

3. Pressure sensitivity

As with temperature, a bit of pressure or pain if you bite down on something too hard is natural. If you experience this when chewing soft foods or with normal or light pressure, it might indicate a problem.

4. Tooth discoloration

Sometimes tooth stains from coffee, tea, red wine, and more can occur, but they are typically on the surface and can be removed with either daily brushing or whitening kits. In other situations, discoloration — usually yellowing or browning — can happen from within the tooth, and it is not able to be cleaned away. This could mean your tooth is dying, and you should see a dental professional as soon as possible

5. Gum issues

Tender or red gums can signify a problem, especially if they are an ongoing issue. Any area of swelling or drainage in the mouth is evidence of an underlying pathology and should be addressed immediately.

If you are having an issue with your teeth or gums, it is important to see an expert for the correct diagnosis and treatment before the problem escalates. To make an appointment call us today at our Statesville (704-924-7650) or Hickory (828-267-1500) office.

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