4 Root Canal Infection Warning Signs
A root canal is often necessary when there is an infection inside of the pulp chamber of the tooth. The dental pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, and there are symptoms that often occur when there is an infection. It is helpful to understand the warning signs of a root canal infection to know when to visit the dentist for treatment.
4 Signs of a root canal infection
There are certain signs that indicate a root canal infection may exist. Recognizing the early warning signs is important in preventing the spread of the infection, which can lead to tooth loss. A dentist may recommend root canal therapy to remove infected dental pulp if the symptoms indicate a tooth infection.
1. Swollen gums
The gums surround and support the teeth. When a tooth infection occurs, the gums are also affected. Due to this, one of the symptoms of a root canal infection is swollen gums. Swollen gums often develop especially if there is a dental abscess, which is a pocket of pus that develops as a result of the tooth infection. Along with the gum swelling, gums may also turn redder and feel very tender to the touch. Not every case of swollen gums is the result of an infection, but it is a symptom that should not be ignored.
2. Severe pain
There are nerves in the root of a tooth so, naturally, there will be discomfort that exists in most instances of a tooth infection. If severe pain exists, then it could be a sign that a root canal is necessary. During a root canal, the dentist can remove the infected pulp that causes the pain and fill the cavity with a substitute material. If severe pain due to an infection is ignored, then it could lead to a spread of the infection or even tooth loss.
3. Sensitive tooth
Another warning sign of a root canal infection is tooth sensitivity. As mentioned, there are nerves in the tooth root, so anytime there is an infection sensitivity may occur. The sensitivity is often the most noticeable when teeth are exposed to hot or cold sensations, such as while eating ice cream or breathing in cold air. If tooth sensitivity exists along with severe tooth pain and gum swelling, then it is strongly encouraged to visit the dentist as soon as possible for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Infection not only affects oral health, but it can lead to fever, swollen lymph nodes and other more general symptoms of an infection. If a fever exists that is most likely associated with an issue with a damaged, decayed or infected tooth, then it is important to seek treatment for the symptoms as well as possibly receive a root canal to deal with the underlying cause.
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