When your teeth are infected, you may experience severe pain and risk losing your teeth altogether. If the infection is so severe that your tooth's blood vessels and connective tissue gets infected, a root canal may be necessary. The root canal procedure entails removing the infected pulp and cleaning the remaining healthy pulp with a disinfectant. Finally, the dentist seals the damaged tooth with a dental filling or dental crown. For best results, timely root canal treatment is essential. Here are ways to tell that you require a root canal.

Swollen Gums and Abscess

If the gums around an infected tooth become swollen, you may experience discomfort or pain when you bite or chew hard foods. The gum swelling occurs due to the presence of acidic waste from the dead pulp. Additionally, a pimple or abscess may form on the swollen gums and discharge pus. This may result in bad breath or an unpleasant taste inside your mouth.

Chipping and Cracking

Tooth cracking and chipping may occur due to car accidents or impact when playing contact sports. The cracks provide an entryway for bacteria which may cause an infection at the root of your teeth. In such cases, root canal treatment is essential to stop the spread of infection and save your tooth.


Healthy teeth usually sit firmly in the gums. However, tooth decay at the root of your tooth may lead to loosening. The loosening occurs when the nerves die and the root doesn't receive enough blood supply to remain healthy. This may lead to holes forming in your gums, causing infected teeth to fall out. You should get tooth canal treatment to save your teeth.

Tooth Discoloration

When the tooth's pulp gets infected or damaged, the blood supply to the tooth gets cut off, leading to tissue necrosis. This often results in darkening or discoloration of your tooth. However, discoloration may also occur due to smoking and ingesting dark-pigmented food and drinks. Consult a dentist to establish the cause of the teeth discoloration. If the change of color is due to an infected pulp, get root canal treatment.


If your teeth experience discomfort or pain after you drink warm or cold drinks, this indicates damage to your tooth's blood vessels. Generally, persistent sensitivity means that the pulp is severely damaged. In this case, root canal treatment is necessary to stop the sensitivity.

Common ways to tell that you need a root canal procedure include experiencing tooth discoloration, looseness, cracking, and chipping. Other signs include sensitivity, swollen gums, and an abscess. Consider getting root canal treatment when you notice these indicators. Contact a dental office like Cottonwood Dental to learn more.