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Signs That You May Need a Root Canal

Recognizing the signs that may mean you need a root canal can help you ensure you receive prompt treatment. Your Creve Couer, MO, dentist, Dr. Mark Hesker, offers root canal therapy and a variety of other oral health treatments and services.

What do root canals do?

During a root canal, your dentist removes the pulp in the center of your tooth and replaces it with a rubber-based filling material. Root canals are needed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected.

Although the tissues, nerves and blood vessels that make up pulp played a crucial role in the development of your tooth, they aren't quite as important now. In fact, your tooth will still function normally without the pulp. Removing the pulp during a root canal ends your pain by eliminating the infection or inflammation.

How can I tell if I might need a root canal?

Some subtle, and a few not-so-subtle, signs may occur if you need a root canal, including:

  • Pain May Become a Part of Your Daily Life: An inflammation can cause pain that never seems to go away, although it can subside at times. Your pain may worsen when you chew, press on your tooth or eat or drink cold, hot or sugary foods and beverages.
  • Your Gum is Sore: The gum tissue around your inflamed or infected tooth may eventually become red or swollen. It's important to call your Creve Couer dentist if red or swollen gums last more than a week. The symptoms may be a sign of inflammation or infection in your tooth or gum disease.
  • Your Tooth Looks Different: Changes deep inside your tooth can may cause it to darken.
  • You Injured Your Tooth: A root canal may be needed if your tooth was injured or it was knocked out and then reimplanted.
  • You Feel Sick: If a bacterial infection called an abscess forms in your tooth pulp, you may feel awful. Abscesses can cause severe, throbbing pain that prevents you from sleeping. Other symptoms may include fever, a bump or collection of pus around your tooth, swollen lymph glands and facial swelling. In addition to root canal therapy, you'll also need antibiotic treatment if you have an abscess.

Root canals help you protect your smile! If you have any of these signs or symptoms, call your Creve Couer, MO, dentist, Dr. Mark Hesker, at (314) 569-3337 to schedule an appointment.

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