Oral Care 101: 6 Telltale Signs You Should Get a Root Canal

father and child brushing teeth

Our teeth accentuate how we look, especially when we flash a bright smile. It makes an excellent first impression on anyone we meet, so people strive to make their pearly whites as perfect as possible. However, even our teeth aren’t safe and can experience problems, particularly the pulp because it’s soft tissue. When this happens, a root canal may be necessary.

A root canal is a procedure where the dental pulp is removed. The dental pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. Once the dental pulp is removed, the tooth is disinfected, and dental filling is applied. Other times, it’s replaced with a crown. This procedure involves no pain, though some patients experience mild discomfort. If you suspect you need a root canal, you must be sure. To help you, here are some signs to look out for:

#1 – Severe Toothache

Many things cause toothache, one of which is an infection of the dental pulp. Infection travels to the tooth through the blood vessels and affects the entire tooth, causing throbbing or constant toothache. Some bacteria also attack the nerve and cause sensory problems. You should call your dentist immediately if you experience this kind of toothache.

#2 – Gum Bumps

A gum bump will appear on the gums right above the tooth as a case of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum bumps are caused by the teeth being pulled away from the gum line, exposing the tooth’s root. Gingivitis can also cause gum bumps. A root canal is the most effective way to eliminate gum bumps.

On a related note, swollen gums can also occur. It’s worth noting that it’s different from gum bumps because it affects both the gums and the jaw. Swollen gums can also be caused by gum disease and even tooth decay. If you experience swollen gums, you should also call your dentist.

#3 – Extreme Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Food or Beverages

Brushing your teeth after every meal is important because it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. It also helps remove food particles that get stuck in between your teeth. However, a dental problem can develop if you don’t brush well or have bad dental habits. When food particles become trapped between the teeth, it leads to bacteria buildup. If the bacteria remains in your mouth, the infection can travel to the tooth through the blood vessels, causing it to rot.

The tooth will become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause swelling. When you brush your teeth or eat ice-cold food or beverages, you’ll experience a severe sensitivity. As a result, you may not be able to enjoy your favorite food or drinks.

#4 – Darkened Gums

Gums are usually pinkish, so if you notice a darkened area on the gums, it may be due to dental disease or infection. The infection can travel to the tooth through the blood vessels, causing bleeding gums. When the infection travels to the tooth, you’ll notice that the tooth has darkened. If you can’t do anything about it, the infection will consume the tooth and cause tooth decay.

#5 – Tooth Chipping or Cracking

Chipped or cracked teeth are one of the most common dental problems. Bad dental habits and accidents are some of the causes of chipped or cracked teeth, but they can also be caused by tooth decay. If you have a tooth that’s chipped, you’ll notice that the area around the tooth is tender to the touch. If you have a cracked tooth, the pulp will weaken, which warrants a root canal.

#6 – Tooth Abscess

Tooth abscesses are caused by an infection of the tooth’s pulp. If a tooth is badly infected, a tooth abscess may develop. It can also cause infection in the jawbone. Tooth abscesses can be extremely painful, so you should get them checked as soon as possible.


A root canal is a must if you experience any of these symptoms. If you don’t address the problem immediately, it can worsen and cause an infection that may spread to the entire jaw. If you’re experiencing tooth abscess, pain, or toothache, you should call your dentist immediately because you don’t want to wait for it to get worse.

If you’re looking for dentists in Sudbury, MA, Sudbury Dental Arts can help you! We specialize in family dentistry, so we can guarantee that all members of the family will get the dental care they deserve. Simply go to our website to book an appointment!



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