A root canal is a relatively common dental procedure in which a portion of tooth is removed to clean out and treat an infection which has taken hold within the interior of the tooth itself. Allowing such an infection to continue without treatment can cause a great deal of dental pain, and can result in rotting, decay, and infection in other areas of your mouth, gums and teeth. Understanding the warning signs of an infection that requires a root canal can help you identify the problem early so that you can contact your dentist before the issue gets too serious.
The most obvious sign that you are suffering from a tooth infection that may need to be treated by a root canal is if you notice a sharp and sudden pain that seems to chronically exist throughout the day, no matter your eating habits. While this is not necessarily an infection of the nerve inside of your tooth (which is the underlying problem that a root canal fixes), at the very least such pain points to a cavity or another dental issue that needs to be addressed quickly – as even an untreated cavity can lead to an eventual infection.
Swollen gums, like toothaches, can point to a number of different dental issues, but if the swelling seems to be getting progressively worse, and seems to be concentrated in a single area or even a single tooth in your mouth, an infection is likely to blame. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed quickly, as such swelling can make it harder and more painful to practice normal dental hygiene, which can in turn increase the risk of further infection and dental issues.
Another fairly clear indication that you are suffering from an infection is if you notice an increased sensitivity to either hot and cold food and drinks, or to certain types of food, like high-sugar fruit and drinks. While sensitivity throughout your mouth can be a pre-existing dental condition, an infection will usually only affect a specific tooth (or if seriously progressed, a certain section of teeth).
Finally, an infection in your tooth that has been able to progress to a significant degree can actually cause discoloration of the tooth that it is affecting. This is more than an aesthetic concern: this discoloration points to rot actually eating away at the structure of your tooth, which can result in further pain and the breaking apart of the entire tooth.
For more information, contact establishments like Treman & Treman Family Dental Care.