When is a root canal required?
Root canal treatment (or endodontics) is required when there is an infection deep within your tooth. The blood or nerve supply may be infected either due to an injury or a severe cavity. You may not experience any pain or discomfort during the early stages of an infection, however if your tooth changes colour and darkens that is a sign that your tooth nerve is in danger of dying. If left untreated, this kind of infection can not only be very painful, but can lead to a tooth abscess or even tooth loss.
Five signs of infection:
- Serious toothache when eating, or when you put pressure on the tooth. Does it hurt when you bite down hard?
- Excessively sensitive teeth. Does the sensitive pain linger after the initial contact with hot or cold foods or drinks?
- Darkening of your tooth. Has your tooth changed colour? This may be a sign of the nerve dying.
- A small bump on the gum, close to the painful tooth.
- Tender or swollen gums around the tooth.