Would you be surprised if your dentist took an X-ray of your teeth right now and recommended you get root canal therapy? While an intense toothache is the most well-known sign that you may need a root canal, it’s not the only symptom. In fact, of the millions of root canals that are performed every year, many patients experience little to no dental pain beforehand. Read on to find out why you may need a root canal in Louisville even if your tooth doesn’t hurt.
How Root Canal Therapy Works
First, it’s important to understand what root canal therapy is designed to do. Simply put, a root canal aims to save a severely damaged or infected tooth from extraction so you can keep as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. First, all the injured or decayed tissue is removed from the inside of your tooth. Once the nerve and pulp have been cleaned out, the tooth is disinfected and filled with a rubbery, biocompatible material. In most cases, the tooth is then topped with a dental crown to strengthen it and protect it from future problems.
If a tooth in need of a root canal goes untreated, the problem will only get worse. The jawbone may sustain permanent damage and the tooth may need to be extracted. What’s more, dangerous bacteria can spread to the other teeth and even to the rest of the body, causing serious systemic issues. Not only does a root canal prevent all of this, but it allows you to preserve your natural tooth structure, which saves you the need for an extraction as well as the complications of tooth loss and the expenses of replacing a missing tooth.
Why Pain-Free Teeth Sometimes Need Root Canal Therapy
When the pulp of your tooth is damaged or attacked by bacteria, it’s common for the tooth’s nerve to become aggravated and painful. However, this isn’t always the case. An injury or infection can be small enough to cause minimal discomfort, but significant enough to have caused permanent damage to the tooth. In other cases, your tooth may not be in pain because the nerve has died. This is most often the case for intense toothaches that suddenly go away on their own. The nerve may not be sending pain signals to the brain any longer, but the damage or bacteria is still present and getting worse with time.
Other Warning Signs You Need a Root Canal
The only way to know for sure that you need a root canal is to see your dentist. However, there are several other warning signs aside from an intense toothache that you can be on the lookout for, such as:
- Tooth sensitivity to heat and cold that lasts for more than 30 seconds.
- Discoloration or darkening of a single tooth.
- Swollen, puffy gum tissue.
- A small, pimple-like bump on the gums.
- Tooth mobility or looseness.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist right away. They can X-ray your tooth to determine what the underlying cause is and whether or not you would benefit from a root canal.
About the Practice
Remmers Dental is proud to serve the families of Louisville and the surrounding communities with award-winning dentistry and compassionate customer service. With state-of-the-art technology and convenient office hours, they go above and beyond to ensure every visit is as comfortable and pleasant as possible. They also accommodate dental emergencies with same-day appointments whenever available so you can get the urgent root canal or other treatment you need quickly. If you’re concerned that you may need a root canal, don’t hesitate to contact them via their website or at (502) 499-0234.