5 Signs You Need a Root Canal

You’ve likely heard of a root canal, but you may not know what the term actually means.  This is a serious type of dental work, but it isn’t one that should be feared. Millions of root canal procedures are done each year and they help people have healthier mouths and less pain and discomfort.

You may have heard that a root canal is incredibly painful, but in many cases this is not true. For most people, it provides no more discomfort than most other dental processes, such as getting a filling, or a wisdom tooth removed.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal procedure is designed to clean out bacteria and decay from the root of the tooth. One of the main purposes of a root canal is to save the tooth while preventing the spread of the decay to other areas of your mouth.

During the process, the decay and bacteria are extracted from the tooth root, nerve and pulp. The area is then disinfected using antibiotics. The empty root is then filled and the area is sealed to prevent future decay. The natural tooth is left in place where it can continue to survive without the pulp since it will be nourished by the surrounding tissue.


There are a few oral health signs that could be indicative of a root canal. However, getting a full examination from a dentist is needed to determine if this is your issue or there is another possible reason for the issue.

However, here are some of the signs that you may need a root canal procedure. If you are experiencing any of these, you should see your dentist.

Consistent Toothache

Pain in your teeth is a sign that something is wrong. If you have a constant toothache, especially if it worsens when you bite down or put pressure on the tooth, it’s likely that you have an issue and may require a root canal.

Sensitive Teeth

If a tooth hurts when you drink a cold or hot drink, this may be a situation that requires a root canal. In some cases, a person may feel a dull ache. In others, the pain might be sharper. While there are several reasons why your teeth feel sensitive to temperatures, it could mean that the nerves or blood vessels in your tooth are damaged or infected.

Swollen Gums

Swelling of the gums can be caused by waste products coming from infected pulp tissue. If your gums are swollen or if they are tender when touched, you may need dental surgery. However, much like with all of these symptoms, there could be various reasons why this situation is occurring. Speaking with a dentist and going in for an exam can help determine the issue and what needs to be done.

Bad Breath

If you have continual bad breath, despite brushing, flossing, and taking care of your oral health, this could be due to an infection. When a tooth becomes infected, the bacteria may produce an unpleasant smell.

Gum Abscess

A gum abscess typically looks like a pimple on your gum. It is a small pocket of pus that can develop when bacteria causes an infection between the teeth and the gums. An abscess is typically painful, may emit a smell or taste, and could leak liquid. If you notice one in your mouth, you’ll want to see a dentist right away. A dentist can confirm an abscess and take steps to treat the infection.

The symptoms listed above are common in those who require a root canal. However, they are not the only symptoms and having these symptoms may be due to a different issue. In any case, scheduling an appointment with a dentist is a good idea. The team at Dentistry at Consilium in Scarborough, ON can help you get the right treatment for your situation.

Schedule your appointment with us online or call 416-296-1080 to talk to our team.

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