There are few dental procedures more dreaded than a root canal. However, this is also a very common procedure, and it's often not as bad as people have been led to believe. In fact, root canals can offer great relief for dental pain and pressure. So, how do you know if and when you need a root canal? A dentist is the only person who can tell you that after a thorough examination of your mouth. What that said, though, there are typically are some warning signs that a root canal could be in order.
Warning Sign #1: Dental Pain
One of the most common ways that the body alerts you to a problem is with pain. This holds true for dental issues as well.
If you suddenly develop pain, swelling, or infection in one or more teeth, especially if you believe the affected teeth are decaying, this could very well be an indicator that you need a root canal.
Of course, pain could also be caused by other dental health problems as well. The only way to really know if it's related to the need for a root canal is to see your dentist, but as long as you don't ignore the pain, you should be able to stop the pain from getting worse or leading to permanent dental damage.
Warning Sign #2: Changes in Color
It may surprise you to learn that a tooth that needs a root canal can sometimes change color. As death and decay occur inside the tooth, this color change can also occur, signaling to you that you need to get to a dentist right away.
More often than not, affected teeth will turn gray, black, or yellow depending on the extent of the decay. No matter the exact color, you definitely need to get to a dentist if this occurs.
Warning Sign #3: Temperature Sensitivity
Sometimes, a tooth that is in need of a root canal will suddenly become very sensitive to extreme temperatures. This might mean, for example, that you suddenly get severe pain when you eat a bowl of ice cream or drink a hot coffee.
In any event, if you have never dealt with temperature sensitivity before, and it develops out of nowhere, it is time to see a dentist.
As you can see, your mouth has a way of letting you know when something isn't right. Pay attention to it and always see a dentist when you notice these signs or when anything seems amiss.