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Signs You Need a Root Canal: Symptoms and Causes

Root canals are often a source of anxiety for many people. The thought of having to undergo a procedure that involves removing the pulp from a tooth can be nerve-wracking. However, root canals are essential for preserving the health of your teeth and preventing further damage. If you are planning to get a root canal treatment, then you can consider consulting a Dentist in Garden Grove who is a certified expert dental specialist serving people with the best dental treatments. In this article, we'll discuss the signs that you may need a root canal, as well as the causes of this dental issue.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing the pulp of a tooth. The pulp is a soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can cause pain, sensitivity, and other dental problems. A root canal is a way to remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth.

Signs you need a root canal

Persistent pain

If you have persistent pain in a tooth, it could be a sign that you need a root canal. The pain may be sharp or dull and may be present even when you're not eating or drinking. This pain may be accompanied by swelling or tenderness in the gums around the affected tooth.

Sensitivity to hot and cold

If you experience sudden and severe sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, it may indicate that the pulp of the tooth is damaged. This sensitivity may be brief, but it can be intense enough to cause discomfort.


Discolouration of a tooth may also be a sign that you need a root canal. A tooth that has become darkened or discoloured may be an indication that the pulp is damaged or dead.


Swelling in the gums or face around a particular tooth may also indicate the need for a root canal. This swelling can be accompanied by tenderness, pain, or a feeling of pressure in the affected area.


An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the base of a tooth. It is a serious dental problem that requires immediate attention. If you notice a pimple-like bump on your gums, it could be an abscess and may require a root canal to treat.

Causes of a root canal

There are several causes of a root canal, including:

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of a root canal. When a cavity is left untreated, it can cause damage to the pulp of the tooth, which may require a root canal.


Trauma to the tooth, such as a fracture or chip, can also cause damage to the pulp. In some cases, the damage may not be immediately apparent, but it can cause pain and other dental problems over time.

Gum disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation and damage to the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and the need for a root canal.

Multiple dental procedures

Repeated dental procedures on a particular tooth can also cause damage to the pulp. This is why it's essential to follow your dentist's recommendations for regular dental checkups and cleanings.


A root canal may seem like a daunting dental procedure, but it's an essential way to preserve the health of your teeth and prevent further damage. If you're experiencing persistent pain, sensitivity, swelling, discolouration, or an abscess, it's important to seek an expert dental care specialist like West Grove Dental immediately. The dentist can help you determine if a root canal is necessary and provide you with the care you need to maintain a healthy smile.


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