Extensive decay, a fractured tooth, or an accident can damage the dental nerve. These are the most common reasons for the need of a root canal. Why is it called a “root canal?” This refers to the area within the teeth where the nerve or “dental pulp” are located.
The nerve is not essential to ongoing tooth function, as it serves mostly to detect temperature differences and changes in pressure. However, if it has become infected, it is a liability that could result in swelling, drainage, and bone loss if not treated. Root canal treatment is also known as an endodontic treatment.
How can you tell if you might need a root canal?
Here are a handful of symptoms to watch for:
- Extreme pain and sensitivity while chewing or putting pressure on the tooth
- A front tooth changes color or becomes darker
- A recurring pimple on the gums, which may indicate an abscess
- Heightened sensitivity to temperatures (both hot and cold)
- Increased gum sensitivity and swelling
If you exhibit any or all of these symptoms, contact Kennedy Dental in Portland, Oregon to discuss whether a root canal treatment is your best solution. Root canals are a highly successful treatment allowing patients to save teeth that would otherwise be lost.
Routine dental hygiene and wellness examinations are the most predictable way to prevent a root canal.