What Are the Signs You Need a Root Canal and What Happens If You Don't Get It?

What Are the Signs You Need a Root Canal and What Happens If You Don't Get It?

Sep 05, 2022

Figuring whether you need a root canal is not easy. An array of symptoms can indicate that you need our dentist in Cupertino to treat the root canal infection. But in some cases, you might not pick the subtle symptoms, but our experienced dentist can easily identify the tell-tale signs of a root canal infection.

The root canal is infected when the enamel weakens and cavities form, creating access for food and bacteria to get into the inner parts of the tooth. The root canal is home to connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. That’s why you would feel pain whenever the root canal is infected.

Without further ado, let’s unpack the glaring signs you need to seek root canal treatment.

Symptoms of Root Canal Infection

You might not be capable of ascertaining whether you need a root canal or not until our dentist takes a look at your teeth. But some of the symptoms that might guide you include:

  • Toothache

Since the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels are exposed, it is only a matter of time before the pain kicks in. Infected root canals will always come with pain, at times, acute pain. If there is inflammation, the pain intensifies, is almost unbearable, and needs prompt treatment.

Even though pain is one of the glaring signs that your root canal is infected, it’s not always an indicator that you need a root canal near you. There are instances where a tooth needs a root canal, and you might not be in pain.

Other conditions such as periodontitis, bruxism, tooth decay, exposed dentin, and tooth fracture can cause tooth pain. That’s why you need to look for other signs that indicate that the root canal is infected.

  • Gum Sensitivity and Swelling

Tooth sensitivity and swollen gums are common symptoms when your root canal is infected. But these symptoms show up in different ways.

Sometimes your gums may seem okay, but they might be tender. In other scenarios, you will notice that the gum is swollen. If the swelling lasts for an extended period or is very pronounced, there is a possibility that a root canal is needed.

  • Bad Breath, Abscess, or Pus

If bacteria find a way to get into your root canal and begin to multiply, you will have bad breath. Whenever there’s an infection in the mouth, always expect to develop halitosis (bad breath).

Also, you can experience a bad or sour taste in the mouth, usually attributed to pus. If pus-filled pockets are on the gums, this is a clear sign that the root canal is infected. When you notice that there is pus formation, it means that the infection has already spread. This is what is known as a dental abscess.

Rush to our dental clinic and seek prompt care since a dental abscess can spread to other body parts.

  • Tooth Discoloration

When a tooth is alive and well, it has a distinctive whitish or off-white color. But the root canal is likely to be infected when a tooth or teeth develop a bluish, dark-yellowish, or grayish color. The color change occurs due to the limited blood flow to the tooth since the blood vessels are infected.

Color change also indicates a change in the nerve area; if the infection spreads, the nerves weaken and eventually die.

What Happens If You Leave a Root Canal Infection Untreated?

Unfortunately, a root canal infection cannot go away independently; you need to visit our dentist to receive treatment. You might assume that the infection is no longer there when you stop feeling pain, which indicates that the nerves have died. But remember, the infection is still inside the tooth.

If you don’t seek treatment, the infection will spread to other parts of your body, including the jaw, face, brain, and the rest of your body.

The infection is usually life-threatening since it can cause a heart attack or stroke. You might also lose your tooth or even part of your jaw. It is unwise for you to ignore seeking treatment hoping that the infection will subside.

So, call us if you suspect a root canal infection. You can ask us anything, including root canal cost, how it is performed, etc. Contact us today at Cupertino Family Dental to schedule an appointment.

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