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Telltale Symptoms You May Need a Root Canal: A Guide

The most common sign that you may need a root canal is severe tooth pain. The pain may come and go, or it may be constant. It can be triggered by chewing, hot or cold temperatures, or even by breathing in cold air. The pain may be so severe that it wakes you up at night. You may also notice that your tooth is sensitive to touch or pressure. Another common symptom is a small, pimple-like bump (called a dental fistula) on the gums near the affected tooth. In some cases, the tooth may darken. This is usually a sign that the tooth’s nerve has died. If you want to be certain if you need a root canal or not, this blog post will shed more light on the telltale signs.

Telltale Symptoms You May Need a Root Canal: A Guide

1 – Persistent Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is not a normal sensation. If you are constantly in pain, it may be due to an infection. When decay or trauma reaches the pulp of your tooth (the center), bacteria and infection can develop, which can cause pain.

2 – Sensitivity to Hot or Cold

If your tooth is sensitive to hot or cold beverages, this may be a sign of a root canal. If the tooth is sensitive to biting or chewing, this can also be indicative of an infection.

3 – Discoloration

When you have a deep cavity or infection, the tooth will often turn white or dark. Usually, the tooth will start to turn black or brown as the infection becomes worse.

4 – Swelling

If the gums around your tooth are swollen and tender, this may be a sign of an infection. It may be a symptom that all is not well on the inside of the tooth. If you have an infection, it is important to see a dentist right away so that the infection can be treated.

5 – Painful Chewing

If the tooth is sensitive to biting or chewing, this can also be indicative of an infection. A root canal is necessary when the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth, becomes infected. This can happen due to decay, a cracked tooth, or injury. During a root canal procedure, the infected pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

6 – Loose Tooth

When a tooth becomes loose, it is no longer anchored in the gum line and may eventually fall out. This can be a sign of gum disease or other dental problems. If you notice that one or more of your teeth are becoming loose, see your dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause and get treatment.


It is important to see your dentist regularly to have your teeth and gums examined and cleaned. Good oral hygiene at home, including brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash, can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Otherwise, if you do need root canal treatment, your dentist can help you with the necessary steps to prepare for it. 

If you need a root canal in Manassas, come to Manassas Smiles. Manassas Smiles offers complete dental care services like cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, or gum disease treatment under one roof.

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