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How to Know if I Need Root Canal Treatment?

When you undergo a root canal or other endodontic treatment, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed and the inside of your tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

The pulp is the tissue that contains the nerves and blood vessels that fill the roots of the tooth. Each tooth root secures your tooth to the gums and jawbone.

Confused? Well, we can explain all this to you during an appointment.

We know that you are wondering: “how to know if I need a root canal”?

And we are here to help you understand this procedure and help you to find out if you need it.

You may need a root canal if your tooth is damaged or infected at a point where a dentist can’t do anything to stop the infection from reaching the core of your tooth, especially if it is abscessed.

An abscess (pocket of pus), a deep cavity, or an accident can also lead to a root canal.

Let’s learn more about this treatment and how to identify if you need one to save your tooth!


How do I Prepare for a Root Canal Treatment?

root canal

There’s nothing to be afraid of. Your dentist will guide you on how to prepare for the procedure. To examine the area, the specialist will use X-rays.

The images will show how severe the infection is, and it will help the dentist know more about how deep the infection is and allows them to build up a clear picture of the root canal.

You will have a local anesthetic for a pain-free treatment, and the specialist may also give you antibiotics to help prevent infection caused by bacteria.

If you have a filling or any other dental restoration on your tooth, the specialist will remove it. Then, he is going to place a rubber.

This rubber helps prevent saliva from entering the root canal. It also helps prevent you from breathing in or swallowing liquids or small pieces of tooth.

The specialist may remove the crown that covers the tooth with a dental drill. He may also make a hole in the crown to reach the pulp and root canal.

To continue with the process, he will insert instruments into the root canals. With the tools, you will remove the affected pulp from the tooth with cleaning fluids. You may take an X-ray to check for more pulp to remove.


Why Do My Teeth Hurt?

The cleaning fluid used to disinfect the root canal can enter nearby tissues and cause swelling, bruising, or an infection.

The tip of the dental instrument may get caught in your root canal, or you may swallow the tip if it falls into your mouth.

You could develop a fistula (opening of abnormal tissue) between the root of your tooth and your sinus.

If the affected tissue is not entirely removed, the root may not have been filled in, or the seal may not be tight, germs can enter your tooth and cause an infection.

You may need to have another root canal or have your tooth removed.

Tooth Sensitivity 

Tooth sensitivity can indicate that your dentin’s enamel is worn, but it can also be due to problems with cavities or a fracture; in these cases, you may need a root canal.

The level of dental sensitivity that a root canal requires is extreme.

If you feel discomfort not only when drinking hot or cold drinks, but also suffer from hypersensitivity without even putting something in your mouth, due to the cold wind, for example, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your dentist to contemplate it.

Chewing shouldn’t be a problem if your teeth are healthy. Therefore, the fact that chewing hurts is indicative that there is a problem.

Even if you cannot see any alteration in your teeth or gums with the naked eye, but you still feel pain or discomfort when you eat, you may need a root canal.

There are cases in which, even without chewing, people who require an endodontic experience sharp stabbing pain in one of their teeth.


Darkening of a tooth

One of the most common reasons why you may need a root canal is after trauma to one of your teeth.

One of your teeth may have broken, and you had not realized how or when it happened.

If said trauma affected the tooth’s nerve, you will begin to notice color changes because it is no longer receiving the same blood flow as before.


Swollen gums

A root canal is required when the root of the tooth is affected, as we already know, by caries or trauma.

Being a problem in the pulp, it is usual for the gums or other soft parts surrounding the tooth that will need a root canal to become inflamed.

Inflammation in your gums can also indicate that you suffer from an infectious process.


Bad Taste In The Mouth and Bad Smell

If there is an infectious process affecting the root of your tooth and it is not addressed in time, the infection can create an abscess with pus that will generate a strange taste in your mouth as well as halitosis.

Endodontics contemplates the ideal cleaning and treatment to overcome these two uncomfortable symptoms.

Dental abscesses are also known as phlegmon and can be avoided by having good dental hygiene, so as not to end up needing a root canal, you need to see your dentist regularly to detect problems at early stages.


What Happens After a Root Canal Treatment? 

Happy woman teeth

You may have some pain after the procedure. This is normal and should go away in a few hours.

The dentist may prescribe pain relievers or recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).  Ask your dentist when you can eat and drink again.

Ask about any special indications regarding the care of your tooth after a root canal treatment. If a temporary crown is used, your dentist will replace it with a permanent one about one week later.

The most important thing here is that you are going to be free of pain and you will have the change to eat and talk well again!

Remember that a patient has better chances of saving a tooth when addressing a dental problem on time.




Dr. Cirenia Aparicio
Dr. Cirenia Aparicio
Dr. Cirenia Aparicio Miranda is our dentist in Tijuana and is hands down the best Mexico dentist. Distinguished by being one of the few members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Aparicio Miranda ́s work is synonymous with excellence and quality. She is a Mexico dentist accredited by the AACD and U.S. licensed dentist. With over 20 years of experience in the field of dentistry, Dr. Aparicio Miranda has changed the lives of thousands through her devotion to Dentistry and tender care.

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