5 Signs You Might Need a Root Canal

Tooth pain can stop you in your tracks — you can’t eat, you can’t drink, you can’t sleep. Many things can cause pain in your mouth, and the treatments are just as varied, but if you have a tooth that is severely infected or dying, a root canal may be the way to go.

Only your dentist can determine for sure whether a root canal is called for. Dr. Vaibhav Bajaj and our team at Charlotte Dental Esthetics are root canal specialists. They not only use the most advanced technology to perform the procedure, but they make sure that your experience is pain-free and comfortable. Dr. Bajaj numbs your mouth and drills a very small opening near the root, carefully cleans out the decaying tissue, and then may fit your tooth for a crown, if warranted.

If you’re wondering whether your tooth pain might be more than something minor, here are five signs that you may need root canal.

1. Severe pain

This one may seem obvious, but intense pain is one of the primary signs to look out for. If you have an infection in your tooth that has advanced to the point where the pulp inside your tooth has been affected, your pain will be intense. Your pain level, what triggers it, and what (if anything) relieves it all give Dr. Bajaj important information about your condition and help him determine whether a root canal is the answer.

2. Darkened tooth

If you notice that your painful tooth has changed colors and appears darker than the others, it could be due to a few different problems. Tea, wine, and coffee tend to stain teeth, so it could be that. But when food and beverages are the culprits, they generally don’t darken just one tooth.

Another reason for dark teeth is bad oral hygiene — again, this typically affects all teeth equally. But if neither of these seems to be the problem, then all signs point to nerve damage and decay and likely requires a root canal.

3. Trouble chewing

Because an infected tooth is generally inflamed inside, biting down with that tooth can be especially painful. I feels like the equivalent of putting weight on a sprained ankle — the pressure makes it worse. Since not chewing isn’t an acceptable answer, at least not long term, opting for a root canal may get your bite back.

4. Temperature sensitivity

Most people have felt that painful, but temporary twinge, when ice cream hits a sensitive tooth. But once the cold treat melts away, so does the pain. When you have a severely infected tooth, that pain lingers long after the icy stimulus is gone.

Heat intolerance is another indicator of a dead or dying tooth. Once the root has been destroyed, the nerve is particularly sensitive to hot foods and drinks.

5. Pus-filled cyst

Sometimes when a tooth begins to decay, it shows up as a small cyst or pimple on your gums. It may even have a slight discharge of pus that smells and tastes bad. The abscess is your body’s way of telling you to get to a dentist. Neglecting dental issues like this can lead to serious health problems later.


If you have any or all of these symptoms, call us at Charlotte Dental Esthetics today or click the “Request Appointment” button to schedule a consultation.

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