About 15 million people receive root canals every year, according to an American Dental Association survey. Will you be one of them this year? Whether you need a root canal, checkup or other family dentistry service or treatment, your Prairie Village, KS, dentist, Dr. Terry Linneman of Prairie Dental Care, can help care for your smile.
Signs you may need a root canal
Root canals are used to treat inflammations and infections in your tooth pulp. The soft pulp is composed of tissue, nerves and blood vessels located in the center of your tooth. During root canal therapy, your Prairie Village dentist removes the pulp, cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth and the root canals, and adds a rubber-based filling to the tooth.
Although root canal symptoms can occur suddenly, you may experience a few of these signs or symptoms weeks or months before you visit the dentist:
- Sensitivity: Does your tooth hurt after you drink a milkshake or take a bite of mashed potatoes? Both cold and hot beverages and foods can cause pain if your pulp is infected or inflamed. Pain can last as long as 30 minutes after you finish your meal or beverage.
- Pain: Severe pain is an unmistakable sign that there's something very wrong with your tooth, but sometimes it can take a while for the pain to become intense. At first, you may only notice a mild ache in your tooth or notice that the pain disappears for a week or two, only to reappear. Unfortunately, your pain will only increase the longer you ignore it.
- Darkening: Does your tooth look a little different these days? Your tooth may become noticeably darker if you need a root canal.
- Gum Changes: As the inflammation or infection worsens, the gum around your tooth can become red and swollen.
- Fever and Other Abscess Signs: You may feel awful if you develop an abscess, a bacterial infection in your pulp. In addition to feeling sick, you may have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, pus around the tooth or a small bump on the gum next to the tooth. Abscesses can cause facial swelling and severe, throbbing pain that radiates to your jaw. An abscess is a dental emergency and requires immediate treatment.
Do any of these signs and symptoms sound familiar? For root canals and other family dentistry services, call your Prairie Village, KS, dentist, Dr. Terry Linneman of Prairie Dental Care, at (913) 649-7500.