Chronic tooth pain is among the most difficult body aches and pains for anyone to deal with. But how do you know if the pain can be dealt with utilizing a root canal? After all, the process costs a lot of money, so you need to know which situations actually require root canal treatment.
The basic symptoms that usually suggest a need for root canal therapy is a chronically painful tooth coupled with gum tenderness or swelling in the area right next to the tooth, or both tenderness and swelling occurring at the same time. Then again, not every tooth that calls for root canal can have the same visible symptoms. This is why it requires a dental expert to identify which teeth need to be treated.
The first way that dentists can discover the need for root canal in the absence of pain is by routine X-rays. Sometimes, the death of a nerve of a tooth may not be a painful occurrence, with the nerve tissue inside the tooth degenerating without resulting in any outward symptom. This means the need for root canal treatment can stay unknown, sometimes even for years.
In this case, the infection inside the tooth is not that dramatic and perhaps your body’s defense mechanisms are able to keep it under control, even without totally clearing up the infection. In the X-ray, this infection shows up as a dark spot at the tip of the root of the tooth, which shows a reduction in bone density surrounding that area. This comes about because of the infection kept inside the tooth which might have leaked out, and your body responded to the infection.
The second way that dentists require root canal is if a current dental work results in an exposure of a nerve tissue from your tooth. When this happens, you may feel a prick of pain, but other times, the patient has no idea that a nerve has been exposed. This exposure can cause a degeneration of the nerve tissue. In this case, the dentist may decide to go on with a root canal at this point instead of risking future complications, which may include painful tooth abscess.
The third symptom that dentists watch for is a recurring or persistent pimple developing on the gums. A lesion or pimple can sometimes form on the gums of a person whose tooth nerve has died. These pimples, called fistulous tracts, can appear and disappear, but they are technically drains for pus. This is why they normally produce a bad taste. Sometimes dentists may discover this kind of pimple during a routine checkup.
Lastly, teeth that have suffered trauma in any accident may sometimes be candidates for root canal. The nerve tissue of these teeth can deteriorate. Of course, not all teeth that have been bumped in a traumatic event can deteriorate, because sometimes they may do fairly well for many years. The usual hint that the nerve tissue in a tooth is degenerating is that it appears darkened compared to its neighbors.
In any case, a routine checkup should set your fears at rest, as your dental practitioner can help you pinpoint a need for root canal as soon as possible.