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How Do I know If I Need a Root Canal?

December 10, 2021 / DENTISTRY

The dental procedure that cleans out the decay inside your tooth is called a root canal. Our teeth are covered with enamel – that’s the part that you can see. Underneath that enamel is a layer called dentin, and under that is a soft core made of a material called pulp that carries right down into the jawbone. This pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that carry nutrients from the body into the tooth, helping is grow and maintain good health. When the core of the tooth, or the pulp, becomes inflamed, infected, or even necrotic (this means it has died), that’s when it’s time for a root canal to clean out that unhealthy material.

So now that you know what a root canal is, how do you know if you need one? Whether to have a root canal is a decision you need to make in partnership with your general dentist in Windsor, but here are some signs and symptoms that it’s time to come in for a visit.

Signs and symptoms you might need a root canal:

  • Dental pain that won’t go away – the pain may feel like it’s coming from deep within your jawbone, or it could present in your face, jaw, or other teeth. Wherever the pain is felt, it’s important to come see us if that pain persists.
  • Temperature sensitivity – if an area of your mouth has become overly sensitive to hot or cold air, foods, or drinks, you may have an issue inside your tooth that requires a root canal.
  • Discolouration of the tooth – infected or necrotic tooth pulp can cause the tooth to change colour. If your smile is looking abnormal, give us a call right away.
  • Swollen gums – gum swelling can be caused by the release of waste from tooth pulp that is dead or dying. Swollen gums are red, puffy, and sensitive to the touch, and they may ooze with pus or develop what looks like a small pimple.
  • Cracks or chips – if you injure your tooth and it becomes cracked or chipped, this can cause damage to the roots or nerves and require medical attention.
  • Loose teeth – as adults, our teeth should never feel loose or wobbly. This could be the result of bone weakening or waste being released by necrotic tooth pulp, and you need to seek medical advice.

When you undergo a root canal in Windsor, your dentist will:

  • Remove any bacteria and decay from the tooth’s pulp, root, and nerve
  • Ensure the area is disinfected using antibiotics
  • Once the roots are empty, they will be filled with healthy material
  • Seal the area to prevent exposure to the elements, bacteria or food/drinks that can all cause future decay.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call Dr. Dan Foresto and team today. We’ll schedule some time to assess the health of your teeth and discuss whether a root canal is the right treatment for you. Our dental office is located in Windsor and is always accepting new patients.


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