Root canal. That’s not usually a term patients want to hear from their dentists. But today’s root canal treatments aren’t what they used to be. They’re a quick and relatively painless procedure. And if your dentist says you need one, it isn’t dental advice to ignore. Plus, dentists do root canal treatments every day—to the tune of 15 million per year.

Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs that you might need a root canal treatment.

Common signs your tooth is saying it needs a root canal treatment.

Taking care of our teeth and gums is far more important than many realize. Proper brushing and flossing, limiting sugary and starchy foods, and visiting the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning are the best ways to do just that. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, teeth develop decay or other issues that require more than a simple filling to treat.

This said, paying attention to the warning signals your mouth might be sending is so important. Take a look below at some signals that suggest a visit to your endodontist near Hampton, Georgia, might be in order.

1. Persistent Pain or Discomfort, Especially When Chewing

If you feel pain when you chew or touch your tooth, it’s a sign. This kind of pain can be sharp or dull. It means something inside your tooth may not be right. Don’t let this pain slide. It could mean your tooth needs a closer look by a dentist.

2. Sensitivity to Hot or Cold That Lingers

Feeling a sharp pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold? If this pain sticks around even after you stop eating or drinking, it’s a warning. This kind of sensitivity is not normal. Your tooth is telling you it might need a root canal treatment.

3. Swollen or Tender Gums Around the Affected Tooth

Notice your gums looking swollen or feeling tender near a tooth? This is not just a random thing. It’s a sign there might be a deep issue in your tooth. Swollen gums can point to problems that a root canal treatment might fix.

4. Darkening or Discoloration of the Tooth

Our teeth can stain over the years, often due to the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. But not all discoloration is the same. Pay attention if a tooth starts to look darker or has a different color. This color change can be a sign that the tooth is in trouble. It often means something is wrong inside the tooth. Your dentist or endodontist near Hampton, Georgia, can take a look and let you know what’s going on.

5. Pimple on the Gums

Have you tried reaching in your mouth to feel the tender area? Wash your hands well and then give it a try. Do you feel a bump in the area that hurts? A pimple on your gums is a big warning sign. It’s called a dental abscess. This pimple means there is an infection that needs to be treated right away. Often, a root canal is the treatment needed to take care of this infection.

6. Ongoing Pain Relief From OTC Meds

If you’re reaching for pain meds more than usual and the relief doesn’t last long, it’s a clue. Your tooth is trying to tell you it needs professional help. And keep in mind that excessive use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications isn’t a good thing. When over-the-counter meds don’t work well, a dentist can find the root of the problem.

7. Pain Is Radiating to Your Ear or Jaw

When you have a small cavity, the pain is typically localized to the affected area. However, pain that spreads to your ear or jaw is more than just annoying. It’s a signal of a deeper issue. This pain can start in your tooth and spread to other areas. It’s a strong hint that a root canal treatment might be needed to get to the bottom of it.

How an endodontist can help.

While some dentists can perform root canal treatments, this procedure is typically referred to an endodontist or a dentist specializing in endodontics. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating the inside of your tooth. They’re experts in saving teeth. They look for signs of infection or damage deep inside the tissues in your mouth and use various dental tools to see things we can’t see with our eyes alone.

If they find a problem, they can perform a root canal. This procedure involves cleaning out the damaged part of your tooth. Then, they fill it to stop infection. The whole process can often be done in one or two visits. It might sound scary, but it’s a common way to fix teeth and stop pain. Endodontists do this all the time, and they work to make it as pain-free as possible. This way, you can keep your natural tooth for a long time.

If you are experiencing any of the root canal warning signs, you need prompt dental attention.

If you are experiencing extreme pain or any of the other warning signals we mentioned, it’s time to give your best dentist in Hampton, Georgia, a call. Things like a dental abscess can be very serious, and prolonging or avoiding treatment can be dangerous to your overall health.

Request an appointment today so that we can examine your mouth and assess whether you need a root canal treatment. We promise that if you do, you’ll feel so much better afterward that you’ll wonder why you waited so long. Contact us today.