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7 Common Signs You Need a Root Canal

Are you experiencing persistent tooth pain or sensitivity? It might be more than just a cavity. Root canals can save your tooth and alleviate your discomfort. Keep reading to discover seven common signs you might need a root canal.

Persistent Pain

Throbbing and Constant Pain

Persistent tooth pain is one of the most common signs that you might need a root canal. If the pain is throbbing and constant, it indicates that the tooth’s pulp may be infected or inflamed.

Pain When Chewing

Another telltale sign is pain when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth. This can be due to a damaged or infected pulp inside the tooth, which may require a root canal to fix.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Lingering Sensitivity

It’s normal to feel a brief sensation when consuming hot or cold foods, but if the sensitivity lingers long after the exposure, it could be a sign of nerve damage or infection within the tooth.

Sharp Pain

If hot or cold foods trigger sharp, intense pain, it’s a signal that the tooth’s inner nerve is compromised, and a root canal might be necessary.

Swollen Gums

Gum Inflammation

Swelling in the gums around the affected tooth can indicate a problem requiring a root canal. This swelling may not always be painful, but it can be persistent.

Pus Drainage

In more severe cases, pus may form around the swollen area, indicating an abscess. This is a clear sign of infection that requires immediate attention.

Darkening of the Tooth


A tooth that has become discolored or darkened compared to the surrounding teeth may need a root canal. This discoloration often results from trauma or decay within the tooth’s pulp.

Deep Decay

Cavities Reaching the Pulp

If you have a cavity that has penetrated deep into the tooth, reaching the pulp, a root canal may be the only way to save the tooth and prevent further infection.

Past Dental Work

Teeth that have had extensive dental work, such as multiple fillings or crowns, are more prone to needing root canals as they weaken over time.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

Visible Cracks

Cracks or chips in your tooth can expose the pulp to bacteria, leading to infection. This is particularly concerning if the crack extends below the gum line.

Trauma to the Tooth

Even if there’s no visible damage, trauma from an accident can cause internal damage that necessitates a root canal.

Prolonged Sensitivity After Dental Work

Post-Procedure Sensitivity

It’s normal to experience some sensitivity after dental procedures, but if the tooth sensitivity persists for an extended period, it might indicate that the tooth’s pulp is damaged.

Don’t let tooth pain disrupt your life. Recognizing the signs early can save your tooth and prevent further complications. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit to your reliable dentist in Columbine, CO, immediately. They can diagnose the problem and determine if a root canal is the best course of action for your dental health.