Signs You May Need a Root Canal

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
January 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Though a toothache is a common occurrence, many people do not realize that this is actually one of the main symptoms of severe tooth decay. This condition can lead to pain, discomfort, and even tooth loss, alongside a slew of other issues. Luckily, learning the symptoms of decay can help you spot its presence early, avoid a toothache, and get the help you need before any lasting effects take place. Find out why a root canal may be your best dental option with your dentist, Dr. Charles Sours, in Woodbridge, VA.

What causes a toothache?
What began as bacteria on the outside layer of your tooth hardens into plaque, then into tartar. This substance eats through the tooth, burrowing through it from the outside in. As the decay reaches the inside of the tooth, it eventually hits the tooth’s pulp chamber — a hollow portion inside the tooth which houses its soft tissues and the nerves which allow it to feel pain — and causes a toothache.

What is a root canal?
A root canal removes the infected or inflamed soft tissues from a tooth and cleans out the pulp chamber. This process also removes the nerves in the tooth, deadening it to feeling pain and curing a toothache. The root canal process ensures that no infected tissue is left behind after removing the soft tissues to help prevent decay from occurring again.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Though the main symptom of severe decay is a toothache, there are some earlier symptoms which can help you spot its presence early before a toothache occurs:

  • Unexplained bad breath
  • A black or brown spot on the tooth
  • A hole in the tooth
  • A broken tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity (especially to hot/cold)
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums

If you think you have a cavity, seeing your dentist as soon as possible can greatly benefit your oral health. Treating a cavity before it reaches the inner pulp chamber could mean avoiding a root canal altogether, as a simple filling is often sufficient to treat less advanced decay.

Root Canal Therapy in Woodbridge, VA
A root canal can save your damaged or decayed tooth. The procedure preserves the outside structure of the tooth which would be lost during other treatment options, such as extraction. Though pulling the tooth altogether may seem like the more simple solution to your toothache, a root canal helps avoid the side effects of a missing tooth, such as bone atrophy and shifting teeth.

If you have a toothache, do not hesitate to seek dental attention and get the help you need. For more information on root canals, please contact Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 491-2131 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!