Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Root CanalIf you manage to go without needing a dental restoration, consider yourself lucky! About 91 percent of American adults have had a cavity once in their lives, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control. Most of these spots of decay just need a filling, but more advanced cavities could need a root canal. The dentists at North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, South Carolina, have discussed the reasons why root canals are needed and how you might be able to tell if you need one.

Why root canals are needed

The outside of your teeth is hard and has no nerve endings, but the inside of each of your teeth is connected to the rest of your body with soft tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. That's why minor cavities or chips on the surface of the teeth don't typically hurt. But if decay is left untreated or you have an accident that causes breakage, it can be very uncomfortable because the structures inside the tooth are no longer protected. They are very vulnerable to infection, and often the only way to stop it is to have a root canal from your North Charleston dentist, which completely removes all of the tissue and replace it with a strong rubber compound. A porcelain or metal crown finishes off the restoration to keep it stable and attractive.

Signs of dental infection

  • Sensitivity: Mild tooth sensitivity can be caused for several reasons, but if one tooth in particular reacts to hot or cold temperatures with a painful, persistent tingling, it might be time to contact your North Charleston dentist for an examination. This symptom happens because the pulp is no longer insulated from heat or cold as it would be with healthy enamel.
  • Pain when biting down: A sharp pain with every bite is definitely not normal, according to your North Charleston dentist. A tooth that has sustained a deep crack often causes this type of pain because the action of chewing shifts the outside against the nerves inside.
  • Formation of abscess: The body's natural reaction is to try to rid itself of infection. Therefore, you may develop a blister-like lesion on the gums near a tooth that needs a root canal. You may also run a fever or have a bad taste in your mouth. This is what's known as an abscess, and it's a sure sign that you need to make an appointment with one of our dentists immediately.

If you're experiencing the symptoms listed above, or have further questions about your dental health, contact North Rivers Dental associates in North Charleston, South Carolina today!