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7 Symptoms to Look Out for When Considering a Root Canal

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Patient undergoing root canal treatment

Root canal treatment, often simply called a “root canal,” is a popular dental procedure that aims to save a damaged or infected tooth. When the tooth’s nerve or pulp becomes injured, it can lead to severe pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss if left untreated. A root canal procedure comprises removing the damaged or infected nerve and pulp, cleaning the inside of the tooth, and sealing it to protect it from future damage.

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it might be time to visit your emergency dentist to check if a root canal is necessary.

1. Severe Tooth Pain

One of the most common symptoms indicating the need for a root canal is severe tooth pain. This pain can be sharp, throbbing, or constant, and it may worsen when you bite down or apply pressure to the affected tooth. Inflammation or infection of the nerve and pulp inside the tooth usually causes pain, leading to unbearable discomfort. 

2. Prolonged Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Another common symptom of a tooth that may require a root canal is prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. If your tooth remains sensitive for an extended period after consuming hot or cold foods or drinks, it could be a sign that the tooth’s nerve or pulp is damaged or infected. This tooth sensitivity can range from mild to severe and even persist after removing the stimulus. 

3. Swollen Gums

In some cases, the infection or inflammation causing the need for a root canal can also lead to swollen gums surrounding the affected tooth. This swelling may be tender to the touch and can even cause discomfort when eating or speaking. 

4. Tooth Discoloration

A tooth that has become discolored or darkened may be another sign that a root canal is necessary. This discoloration is typically due to the death of the tooth’s nerve or pulp, which can cause the tooth to appear gray, brown, or black. 

5. Persistent or Recurring Pimples on Gums

A small, pimple-like bump on your gums near the affected tooth is another possible indication that a root canal may be necessary. This bump, also known as a “fistula,” can come and go and may even release pus when pressure is applied. A fistula is a sign that your body is attempting to drain the infection, and it can indicate that a root canal is needed to treat the underlying issue.

6. A Cracked or Chipped Tooth

If you have a broken or chipped tooth, bacteria can enter the tooth’s inner chamber, leading to infection or inflammation of the nerve and pulp. Sometimes, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth and prevent further damage. 

7. Previous Dental Work on the Tooth

Sometimes, a tooth undergoing extensive dental work, such as multiple fillings or a crown, may be more susceptible to nerve and pulp damage. This is because the tooth’s structure has been weakened, making it more vulnerable to infection or inflammation.


If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, scheduling an appointment with your emergency dentist as soon as possible is crucial. They can diagnose the dental issue and determine if a root canal is your best treatment option. It’s important to remember that root canal therapy is a routine procedure with a high success rate, and it can save your tooth from extraction while alleviating pain.

Danvers Aesthetic Family Dentistry is your ultimate local Danvers dentist that offers a comprehensive range of dental services and strives to provide exceptional care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. With our experienced team of dental professionals, cutting-edge technology, and commitment to patient satisfaction, you can trust them to address your dental needs and concerns effectively. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you need an emergency dentist in Danvers.

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