It’s not uncommon for individuals to postpone seeing a dentist until they are in significant pain. Unfortunately, the longer you leave a dental problem untreated, the worse it’s likely to become. If you’re wondering if you need a root canal near Grand Rapids, watch for the following warning signs:
Pain with Pressure
One of the most common symptoms of a tooth that needs root canal treatment is pain when biting down or applying pressure. Root canals are often necessary when bacteria in your mouth gain access to your tooth pulp or nerve and start an infection. Because of the buildup of pressure that occurs inside your tooth when it’s infected, biting down accentuates the condition and causes anywhere from moderate to severe pain.
Pain with Hot or Cold
While a small amount of tooth sensitivity doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem, severe and lasting pain that occurs after you eat or drink something hot or cold is a sign of an infected tooth that may require root canal therapy. If your pain continues for some time after the aggravating food is removed, contact your dentist right away.
Discoloration of the Tooth
If you notice that one of your teeth appears gray or a darker color than the rest of your teeth, then you may need a root canal. Teeth commonly become darkened when they are severely decayed or dead. In both of these situations, it’s likely that your tooth is infected or soon will be, so it should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
Swelling of the Gums
When a tooth is infected and requires a root canal, the nearby gums tissue can begin to show symptoms. Most commonly, the gums surrounding the tooth will become reddened, swollen, or tender. In some cases, a small bump that resembles a pimple will form on the gums near the tooth. This bump can be a sign of a dental abscess, and should be treated by a dentist immediately.