root canal | woman with dental pain

When Is a Root Canal Necessary?

Root Canal

Root Canal | Sometimes a toothache is more than a mere toothache. In some cases, tooth decay can progress to the point that it begins affecting the dental pulp found at the heart of a tooth. The pulp contains a blood supply and numerous nerve endings, which is why some toothaches can be so unbelievably painful. If the dental pulp becomes severely inflamed or infected, the dentist may recommend that a patient undergo a root canal procedure to save the tooth.

If you or a family member has a persistent toothache, it’s a good time to contact your dentist and get to the root cause of the problem.

Signs that you may need a root canal:

  • Severe toothache
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Sores on the gums
  • Cracked or chipped tooth 

Severe Toothache

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and needs addressing. In the case of a toothache, the pain can involve more than just the tooth, spreading to different parts of your face, possibly indicating the need for a root canal procedure.

Temperature Sensitivity

It is not unusual to notice some degree of sensitivity to very hot or cold foods or beverages. What is not common is the feeling of a “twinge” or prolonged and consistent sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. This could indicate that the nerves in the dental pulp are beginning to be affected by inflammation or decay.

Tooth Discoloration 

Although it is normal to experience some level of discoloration with the teeth over time, a single tooth that has become discolored is a cause for concern. This is particularly true if it is accompanied by consistent pain, which could indicate that the dental pulp is dying and should be removed with a root canal procedure.

Sores on Gums

A tooth that needs a root canal procedure may develop boils or pimples on the gum tissue near it. This indicates an ongoing infection that may ooze or cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

If you should ever get a cracked or chipped tooth, you need to contact your dentist right away. Although it may be nothing more than a cosmetic concern, it could also lead to severe tooth decay when unaddressed.

The danger of a cracked or chipped tooth is that it can lead to the exposures of nerves under the tooth, progressing to an infection. If the infection reaches the root of your tooth, it could even enter your bloodstream and spread unchecked throughout your body. A root canal procedure will remove this infection, preventing pain and further infection.

The Bottom Line 

In spite of many myths out there about root canal procedures are a very routine dental procedure that does not involve any pain. It is certainly no more uncomfortable than that of a dental filling, for example. In fact, a root canal procedure will remove the source of your pain: the inflamed or infected dental pulp. 

Contact Us

If you’re looking for a “dentist near me” who is experienced in endodontics and root canal therapy, please contact us to schedule an appointment or consultation.


Friendly Dental of Worcester

Unique Dental of Framingham

Middleboro Family Dental

Unique Dental of Pembroke

Uxbridge Family Dental

Unique Dental Of Winchendon

Cinema Smiles Dental

Unique Dental of Worcester

Wareham Family Dental


Unique Dental of Putnam

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