If You Have These Symptoms, It’s Time to Get a Root Canal!
If You Have These Symptoms, It’s Time to Get a Root Canal!
March 15, 2022

Symptoms for Root Canal

When the root and pulp of your teeth have decay, a root canal will get it out.

Teeth are made up this way:

  • Outer layer (made up of enamel)
  • Secondary layer (containing dentin)
  • Soft inner core extending to the root (located in the jawbone)

In that core, there’s dental pulp, which has connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels. Sometimes, decay ends up on the soft core. When that happens, the pulp will get an infection or be inflamed. In severe cases, the pulp ends up necrotic (basically, dead).

A root canal is used to clean out this tissue for the sake of reducing pain and infection.

That said, when is it time for a root canal? Luckily, there are signs and symptoms that can serve as a signal. Read on to learn more about them, so you’ll know when you should call your dentist!

Key Symptoms That Signify the Need For A Root Canal

It should be noted that the only way to be entirely sure whether it’s necessary to get a root canal is through a dentist appointment. When the following symptoms are present, the likelihood is high, and you should see your dentist for confirmation as soon as you can.

Symptom #1: Consistent pain that won’t go away

Consistent tooth pain could indicate a need for a root canal. The pain in your teeth could be constant, or it could disappear only to return on its own. Do you feel the pain deep within your tooth? Or do you feel an ache in your face or jaw?

That said, tooth pain isn’t exclusive to the need for a root canal. It’s important to consider other possible reasons, such as:

  • a cavity
  • a damaged filling
  • an impacted tooth that may be infected
  • gum disease
  • referred pain from a sinus infection or some other issue

Getting a proper diagnosis and the corresponding treatment at the earliest possible time is vital.

Symptom #2: Discolored teeth

Infection in the pulp of the tooth can cause the tooth to appear discolored. When the internal tissue breaks down and/or the tooth undergoes some type of trauma, the roots can end up damaged. In truth, the tooth ends up looking grayish-black.

When the blood supply in tooth pulp is inadequate, a root canal is probably necessary. There are other possible causes, but only a dentist can determine with certainty whether or not a root canal is in order.

Symptom #3: Gums that are swollen

When gums swell near the tooth that hurts, chances are something’s going on that’s best solved with a root canal. It’s usually a result of dead pulp tissues releasing acidic waste products. Swelling can be inconsistent and tender to the touch. However, even if it doesn’t hurt when touched, it still needs to be addressed.


Put simply, a root canal is a process that helps teeth recover from decay in the pulp and roots. Symptoms to be wary of include swollen gums, discolored teeth and consistent pain that just won’t go away. Keep in mind that only a dentist can determine for sure whether a root canal is necessary.

Need to get a root canal treatment? Reach out to Royal East Dental today! We’re a family dentist in Dundas, Hamilton, ON that offers services near Dundas valley such as root canal treatment, Invisalign and more.

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