A root canal is necessary when decay occurs in the pulp of the tooth. To curb the problem, the cavity needs to be cleaned out and have the infected pulp removed from the chambers and the canal, then replaced by other materials and sealed.

Here are four signs you may need a root canal procedure.

1. Pain

Pain occurs when pressure is placed on or near the affected tooth, most often when chewing. While it can begin with slight tenderness, extreme pain can ultimately occur if the problem is left unattended.

2. Swelling

Swelling may occur in the region surrounding the tooth in need of a root canal procedure. It may be ongoing or occur intermittently such as when pressure has been placed on the tooth. Swelling may also be visible on the face on the affected side. Swelling is often accompanied with tenderness.

3. Sensitivity

An infected tooth will often lead to sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, whether through food or drink. Even after the offending item has been removed from the area, the sensitivity or pain will often linger for a while.

4. Discoloration

When a root is infected or dies, it becomes dark brown in color. This then affects the dentin, or the tissue surrounding the tooth, permeating the color and causing it to become darker, as well. Since the enamel is translucent, the discoloration becomes easily visible. The tooth can also become duller, losing much of the natural sheen seen in healthy teeth. The earlier the infection is cleaned out, the less discoloration is likely to occur.

Having an infected tooth does not mean you have to endure prolonged suffering. If you suspect you are in need of a root canal procedure and are seeking a general dentist in Saratoga Springs, NY, Dr. Stanley J. Lis and Dr. Joshua S. Bronner can help. Please contact us at (518) 633-4446.