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Root Canal Symptoms: How to Know if You Need a Root Canal & What to Expect

Root canal symptoms include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling or tenderness, darkening of the tooth, and pain when biting down. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible

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Root canal symptoms are signs that you may need a root canal, a dental procedure that is used to remove infected or damaged tissue from inside your tooth. Root canals are necessary when the pulp, or the soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected or damaged. If left untreated, this infection or damage can lead to tooth loss or further complications.

At Porter Ranch Dental Studio, our amazing dentists are skilled in the latest root canal techniques and can help you get the treatment you need to preserve your tooth and keep your mouth healthy.

So, what are the symptoms of a root canal? Here are some common signs that you may need a root canal:

Root Canal Symptoms

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  1. Severe toothache: One of the most common symptoms of a root canal is a severe toothache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications. This toothache may be constant or may come and go, and it may be accompanied by swelling or tenderness in the gums.
  2. Sensitivity to hot or cold: If you experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks, this may be a sign of a root canal. This sensitivity may be accompanied by sharp, shooting pains when you consume hot or cold items.
  3. Swelling or tenderness: If you notice swelling or tenderness in your gums or face, this may be a sign of an infection in the pulp of your tooth. This swelling or tenderness may be accompanied by a fever, which is a sign of an infection.
  4. Darkening of the tooth: If your tooth becomes dark or discolored, this may be a sign that the pulp inside your tooth is damaged or infected. A root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged or infected tissue and restore the natural color of your tooth.
  5. Pain when biting down: If you experience pain when biting down or applying pressure to your tooth, this may be a sign that you need a root canal. This pain may be accompanied by a clicking or popping sound when you bite down.
If you are experience some or all of these symptoms, you may need a root canal to remove infected or damaged tissue from inside your tooth. To prevent further decay or pain, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible.
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Root Canal Procedure

During a root canal, our dentists will numb the area around your tooth to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. They will then make a small hole in the top of your tooth to access the pulp inside. Using special tools, they will remove the infected or damaged tissue and clean out the inside of your tooth.

Once the inside of your tooth is clean and free of infected or damaged tissue, our dentists will fill the inside of your tooth with a special material to strengthen it and prevent further infection or damage. Then the dentist will seal the hole in the top of your tooth and place a crown, or a cap, over your tooth to protect it and restore its natural appearance.

After the Root Canal

After your root canal, you may experience some discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. Our dentists will provide you with aftercare instructions and any necessary pain medication to help you manage any discomfort. It is important to follow these instructions and take all prescribed medications as directed to ensure a successful recovery.

How Painful is a Root Canal?

Root canals are often associated with pain, but with modern techniques and local anesthesia, most people experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. In fact, the pain or discomfort that many people associate with root canals is often caused by the infection or damage to the pulp inside the tooth that necessitates the root canal in the first place.

During the root canal procedure, your dentist will numb the area around your tooth to ensure that you do not feel any pain. Some people may feel pressure during the procedure, but this is generally not painful.

After the root canal, you may experience some discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. Your dentist will provide you with aftercare instructions and may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort. It is important to follow these instructions and take all prescribed medications as directed to ensure a successful recovery.

Overall, a root canal should not be excessively painful. If you experience significant pain or discomfort during or after the procedure, it is important to contact your dentist. They will be able to assess the situation and provide you with the appropriate care and treatment.

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Can You Eat After a Root Canal?

Yes, you can eat after a root canal. However, it is important to be mindful of the foods you eat and to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions.

Immediately after your root canal, your tooth may be numb from the local anesthesia. It is important to be careful when eating or drinking to avoid biting your tongue, cheek, or lip. You should wait until the numbness wears off before eating or drinking to ensure that you can feel your mouth and chew properly.

In the first few days after your root canal, it is recommended to eat soft, easy-to-chew foods. This will help to minimize any discomfort or sensitivity you may be experiencing. Good choices include cooked cereals, pasta, rice, soups, and mashed potatoes. You should also avoid hot foods and drinks until the numbness wears off to prevent burning your tongue or mouth.

As you recover, you can gradually return to your normal diet. It is important to continue to be mindful of your tooth and to avoid biting down on it too hard or eating hard or sticky foods that may damage the tooth or crown.

Overall, it is important to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions and to be mindful of the foods you eat after a root canal. If you have any questions or concerns about eating after a root canal, it is always a good idea to consult with your dentist.

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Dr. Alex Dolgov

Dr. Alex Dolgov

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