TEETH ARE SAVED by root canal therapy more than 41,000 times a day in the US, adding up to over 15 million times a year. Let’s look at a few of the signs that a tooth needs the attention of an endodontist.
- The tooth becoming loose. If an adult tooth feels loose, that’s a symptom of infection. Acidic waste products from a dead tooth can soften the surrounding bone.
- A chipped or cracked tooth. Damage to a tooth (whether it comes from an accident or happens while chewing) can introduce bacteria to the pulp chamber inside the tooth, inflaming and infecting it.
- Sensitivity and tooth pain. The pulp dying inside a tooth can irritate the periodontal ligament around the root tip, which can cause sharp pain when touching the tooth or trying to chew with it.
- Swollen gums. If the gums swell up around a painful tooth, that’s a good sign that it needs root canal treatment. It could mean an abscess. Dental abscesses may create bad breath and a foul taste.
- Discoloration of the tooth. An infected tooth sometimes changes color — not just at the surface. It may take on a grayish-black appearance as the internal tissue breaks down.