Time for a root canal?

The term “root canal” tends to conjure up sensations of anxiety, fear and even panic in some individuals. These procedures have been unfairly linked to archaic techniques and it is not uncommon for those who are suffering from severe oral pain to put off a trip to the dentist for an extraordinarily long period of time. Unfortunately, this will only make things worse. 

One of the best ways to ensure that your teeth remain strong and healthy is to schedule an examination as soon as possible. So, let us first dispel some common myths associated with root canals as well as some of the symptoms which could indicate that such a procedure is warranted. 

Root Canal Myths Busted

Perhaps the most pervasive false belief is that a root canal procedure is painful.  On the contrary, the dentist will apply a local anaesthetic before the procedure even begins. This is why the majority of patients feel that a root canal is just as simple as having a cavity filled. 

A second myth is the belief that it will take weeks to heal from this procedure. In fact, most people will be back to normal within a few days if they follow the recommended guidelines. 

When Might Tooth Pain Signal Something More Serious?

There are several signs which could indicate that a more in-depth procedure is warranted. One of the most common involves an intense pain that feels much different from a cavity. This pain may linger for hours and it can sometimes radiate to adjacent teeth. There are also times when a tooth may become extremely sensitive to hot or cold substances. These could all indicate a problem with the root of a tooth. 

You might also begin to notice localised swelling around the source of the pain. This can be the result of an infection that has begun at the root of one or more teeth. Sometimes known as an abscess, these lumps can be painful to the touch and at times, they could even run down the jaw. If you happen to notice any of these symptoms, be sure to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.

Tooth discolouration is another warning sign that an underlying problem is present. Changes in colour could indicate issues within the pulp of a tooth. In some cases, the tooth may even appear to turn cark grey or black. This may signal that the nerve within the tooth has died and requires an extraction. The good news is that you can keep the tooth even if its nerve has been removed. 

Sooner as Opposed to Later

We can now see that tooth pain is certainly no laughing matter. Even minor discomfort should be diagnosed by a professional. In some cases, a small issue may be able to be treated before it evolves into a more extensive problem. The bottom line is that the best way to maintain a bright smile is to properly care for your teeth on a daily basis. And see your dentist at the first sign of tooth pain, to avoid complications.