A few subtle signs or symptoms can occur long before you're aware you need a root canal. Luckily, your Kirkland, WA, dentist Dr. Bernard Pak, can help you decipher the signs and get the treatment you need.
Do I need a root canal?
One or more of these signs or symptoms can occur if you need a root canal:
- An Ache or Pain in a Tooth: Root canals are needed if you have an infection or inflammation in the pulp, the soft center section of your tooth comprised of tissues, nerves and blood vessels. Unfortunately, the inflammation or infection won't get better on its own and will begin to cause pain in your tooth. Pain may not be strong at first and can even come or go, at least initially.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Your tooth may be unusually sensitive if it's inflamed or infected. If you eat a hot piece of pizza, drink an ice-cold beverage or indulge in a sugary piece of candy, your tooth pain may increase. You may also notice that pain increases when you chew or even put the slightest pressure on your teeth.
- Fever and Other Abscess Symptoms: A bacterial infection in your pulp can make you feel miserable. If you have an abscess, you may develop a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Other symptoms can include facial swelling, pus around the tooth, a small bump on your gum, or severe, throbbing pain. Call your dentist right away if you notice any of these symptoms. Without treatment, the infection can spread to your heart or brain.
- Gum Pain: Your inflammation or infection may also affect your gums. You may notice that they're pain, red and swollen.
- Tooth Darkening: Teeth can become darker if they're inflamed or infected.
How will my root canal help me?
During a root canal, your Kirkland dentist removes the dental pulp, eliminating the source of your pain. Although your pulp played an important role in the development of your tooth, it isn't quite so crucial now. In fact, your tooth will function fine without it.
After the pulp is removed, your dentist will clean the interior of the tooth and shape the tiny root canals with a file. The final step in the process involves filling your tooth with gutta percha, a durable, rubber-based material. You may also need to add a dental crown to the treated tooth to protect it.
Do any of these signs and symptoms sound familiar? Contact your Kirkland, WA, dentist Dr. Bernard Pak, at (425) 893-9500, to schedule an appointment.