How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal?

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how do you know if you need a root canal

It can be difficult to know if a tooth requires a root canal because many of the symptoms can only be detected by a dentist. This is why regular dental visits are so crucial. If you do not visit the dentist to address a problem before it worsens, you may wind up with an infected tooth and a root canal in the future.

A toothache is often a relentless reminder that something might be amiss with our oral health. One potential solution to alleviate persistent dental discomfort is a root canal. However, how do you know if you truly need this procedure? The symptoms and indicators that might point to the need for root canal therapy in NE Calgary will be explained in this blog post.

What is a Root Canal?

The only way to know for sure if you need a root canal is to visit your dentist in NE Calgary. However, there are various warning signals to look out for. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner your tooth is treated, the better the chance of a successful outcome. 

1. Persistent Toothache

The most common and unmistakable sign that a root canal might be necessary is a persistent, throbbing toothache. If the pain lingers or intensifies, especially when chewing or applying pressure, it could signify infection or damage deep within the tooth.

2. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Heightened sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers even after the stimulus is removed can be a red flag. If sipping on a warm beverage or indulging in an ice cream cone triggers prolonged discomfort, it’s essential to consult your dentist.

3. Swollen Gums

Swelling and tenderness in the gums surrounding a specific tooth may indicate an infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the root, necessitating a root canal to eliminate the source of the problem.

4. Pimple on the Gums

The presence of a pimple-like bump, known as a dental abscess, on the gums near a tooth suggests an infection. This abscess may be accompanied by pus drainage and can be a clear indicator that a root canal is needed to address the underlying issue.

5. Discoloured teeth

A tooth that has changed colour, often appearing darker than the surrounding teeth, may indicate nerve damage or infection. Discoloration suggests that the tooth’s pulp, the innermost layer containing nerves and blood vessels,  may be compromised, warranting a closer look through a root canal evaluation.

6. Painful Chewing or Biting

Pain or discomfort while chewing or biting down can point to issues within the tooth’s pulp. Such discomfort may be an indication that the nerve is compromised, and a root canal may be necessary to alleviate the pain and preserve the tooth.

7. Radiating Pain

 Sometimes, dental pain isn’t isolated to a specific tooth but radiates to other areas of the jaw, face, or even the ear. This referred pain may be indicative of a dental issue requiring attention, potentially through root canal therapy near you

8. X-ray Findings 

 Often, signs of infection or damage are not visible to the naked eye. Dental X-rays can reveal issues beneath the surface, helping dentists identify the extent of damage and determine if a root canal is the appropriate course of action.


Recognizing the signs that indicate a potential need for a root canal is crucial for timely intervention and the preservation of your oral health. If you’re experiencing persistent dental discomfort or notice any of the mentioned symptoms, it’s essential to consult with your dentist near you promptly. Early diagnosis and intervention can often save a tooth, alleviate pain, and restore your dental well-being. Remember, our dentist at Temple Dental Wellness is your ally in decoding dental distress and guiding you towards the most suitable treatment, whether it’s a root canal or another dental solution tailored to your needs.