There’s much more to your teeth than meets the eye, namely the long roots that anchor them to your jawbone. If harmful bacteria get inside these structures, it can lead to an infection that puts your entire tooth at risk. The good news is that we can effectively and easily clear up the infection, and the sooner we treat the problem, the better your outcome.
At Modern Age Dentistry, our team of dental experts, led by Dr. Ali Saeghi, offers a wide range of services that are designed to keep your teeth in great health. While we can do our part here, it’s important that you recognize the signs that there may be a threat, especially when it comes to your root canal.
With that in mind, here's a look at the top four signs that your root canal may be in trouble.
1. Pain, and more pain
Your root canals are located inside the roots of your teeth and are filled with a soft tissue called pulp, which houses blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves. If bacteria make their way into this area, they can cause an infection, which leads to inflammation in the tissue that compresses the highly sensitive nerves contained in the pulp.
This leads us to the first, and most obvious sign, that there’s a problem — pain. The pain may come and go, flaring up when you apply pressure to the affected tooth, or it may become a constant companion.
2. Heightened sensitivity to hot and cold
Another common sign of an infection in your root canal is hypersensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. While many of us are all too familiar with the pain that comes with biting into freezing cold ice cream, this pain is fleeting.
If you find that you have a tooth that’s extra sensitive to extreme temperatures, and the pain lingers, it’s a clear red flag that something is compromising the nerves on the inside of the tooth.
3. A darkening tooth
If the infection advances, it can lead to discoloration of your tooth, causing it to darken. This occurs when the infection affects the blood supply to your tooth.
4. Signs on your gums
The infection that’s wreaking havoc in your root canal can also lead to visible signs along your gumline. These signs may be swelling around the affected tooth, and your gums may look redder or puffier in this area. As well, you may develop small, pus-filled pimples on the surface of your gums, which are your body’s way of responding to, and fighting, an infection.
Clearing away the infection
If you exhibit any of the symptoms we outline above, we urge you to come see us so that we can evaluate the problem and get you started on a treatment that relieves your pain. If we find that there’s an infection, we perform a root canal procedure in which we clear away the affected pulp and seal up the inner structures of your tooth.
For expert care of your root canal infection, contact one our three offices in Ojai, West Hills, or Los Angeles, California, to set up an appointment.