4 Signs You May Need an Emergency Root Canal

Posted on: 24 August 2023

When a tooth becomes badly decayed or infected, a root canal may be required. This procedure is performed on the nerve or pulp of a tooth. During the process, the nerve and pulp are removed so the tooth can be cleaned. In most cases, your dentist will identify the need for a root canal before the issue becomes serious.

However, it's possible you may start experiencing signs that a root canal should be carried out sooner rather than later. If you continue to ignore these warnings, you will be more likely to lose the affected tooth and suffer further complications. With that in mind, here are just four reasons you may need an emergency root canal.

1. Intense Pain

Teeth that require an emergency root canal typically cause intense pain that radiates outwards across a large part of your mouth. This often comes on relatively quickly and continues to grow worse. You are likely to have difficulty eating and find that even minor pressure on the affected tooth increases pain significantly.

2. Prolonged Sensitivity

Many people experience oral discomfort when they expose their teeth to cold or hot temperatures, and this is often nothing to worry about. However, people who require an emergency root canal often experience acute sensitivity that lasts for a relatively long time. If you experience discomfort for more than a few seconds are exposing your teeth to cold or hot temperatures, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

3. Discoloration

When the pulp is damaged through physical trauma, such as a knock to the face, there may be no immediate visual damage. However, the tooth may soon start to darken due to bleeding within the pulp. Discoloration can also occur when the nerves of a tooth have been damaged. By arranging a root canal without delay upon first noticing discoloration, you can increase the chances of saving that tooth.

4. Swollen Gums

Infections within a tooth can often result in swelling of the surrounding gums. Your gums are also likely to be sore around the affected tooth, and you may be able to feel a hard lump under the tissue — this is a sign of a dental abscess. You may even find that pus is coming from the area around your damaged tooth. Unchecked infections can spread to the jawbone and even to other parts of the body or your bloodstream, so any signs of infection should be treated seriously.  

For more info, visit a local emergency dental office.