How do I know when I need a root canal?
Dental pain can be unique to other pains we experience in our bodies. Pain in general is our bodies warning sign that something is going on. Often times the signal of pain is a temporary situation that takes care of itself with the passing of a little time. Other times that pain is trying to tell us that it needs some attention. So how do we distinguish between the two? Here are some things to consider:
Have you had any recent dental work done? It is normal to have some sensitivity after dental work, including temperature sensitivity, gums being tender in that area, and some achiness. What is considered out of the norm is sharp shooting pain, dull aches that don't let up for days, pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night, and temperature sensitivity (mostly cold) that lingers for several seconds after.
X-rays are very helpful to detect most dental infections- which is the source of most pains in the mouth. Here is what a typical dental infection looks like on an x-ray. The dark area around the root shows bone loss in response to the nerve dying in the tooth. This is a situation where a root canal is necessary to get the bone and tooth back to good health.
Of course, consult your dentist to confirm your suspicions if you have a questionable pain coming from your mouth.