Could You Need a Root Canal? Watch Out for These 10 Warning Signs

broken tooth

If your tooth is giving chronic pain, then it’s likely that a root canal is necessary. But how can you tell? What clues should you look for? That’s why today we’re diving into the signs of needing a root canal so that you will know what to watch out for and ultimately get the treatment your mouth deserves. So don’t fight through unnecessary dental discomfort any longer–let’s find out just what is indicative of needing one of these treatments!
If you ever need a root canal, Casa Dental provides this treatment.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal repairs and saves a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The dentist will remove the infected pulp in the tooth’s centre, then clean and seal the inside of the root canals.

To better understand how this works, it is vital to understand the anatomy of a tooth. A tooth has two main parts: the crown (visible part above the gum line) and the root (roots in the jawbone below it). Inside the tooth are tubular-shaped canals known as root canals that contain dental pulp. The root canals run from the tooth’s crown down to its tip at the jawbone. The dental pulp is composed of living tissues, nerves and blood vessels.

Repairing a Damaged Tooth

The root canal repairs a damaged tooth and typically require an X-ray to determine whether a root canal is needed and, if so, how many canals need to be treated. Then, the dentist will drill an access hole in the tooth and remove the damaged or infected pulp. The affected tooth’s canals are then disinfected and shaped with tiny hand files before filling with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.

Root Canal Safety

Root canal procedures are very safe and effective. Once the root canals of a tooth have been properly cleaned, sealed and filled, it is considered as strong as any other natural tooth. Root canals offer several benefits, including:

  •  Saving a damaged or decayed tooth from extraction
  • Preserving the adjacent teeth by avoiding the need to bridge or place implants
  • Eliminating pain and discomfort from an infected tooth
  • Reducing the risk of reinfection by sealing off the root canals from bacteria
  • Improving overall oral health

Common Signs Indicating the Need for a Root Canal

Several signs indicate a patient may require root canal treatment, including: 

1. Constant Tooth Pain

When a toothache intensifies and is felt even when not touched, it may indicate a deeper issue requiring root canal therapy. 

2. Lingering Tooth Sensitivity

Sharp, sudden pain when drinking or eating something cold may indicate decay that has reached the root of your tooth. If this sensitivity continues after switching to softer foods and avoiding hot temptations, it could mean the need for a root canal.

3. Tooth Discolouration

Tooth discolouration can be caused by different factors, such as staining from foods and drinks or decay that has reached the tooth’s inner layer. A change in tooth colour, such as darkening or greying, can also indicate needing a root canal. 

4. Drainage from the Root of the Tooth

If pus or drainage starts to form around the tooth, it is likely a sign of infection deep within the root. It could indicate that a root canal is necessary to clean and sterilize the infected area. 

5. Pain When Chewing and Biting

dental pain

A noticeable amount of pain when applying pressure to the tooth while eating or chewing could indicate decay that has reached the root. This kind of discomfort can also occur when biting down on hard objects.

6. Swelling of Gums

Swelling of gums surrounding a specific tooth can indicate an infection in the root. It could indicate that bacteria has invaded the inner areas of the tooth and needs to be addressed with a root canal to prevent further damage. 

7. Recurring Gum Boil or Pus

If a gum boil or recurring pus pockets appear in the same area around the tooth, it could indicate an infected tooth requiring a root canal. It is usually caused by bacteria and other external factors that have damaged the root of your tooth. 

8. Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth is a sure sign that the root of your tooth has been compromised and requires immediate attention. If left untreated, the inner layer of your tooth can become infected and cause further damage. 

9. Exposed Tooth Nerves

If a tooth nerve has been exposed due to trauma or decay, it indicates that a root canal is necessary to prevent further damage. This kind of exposure can cause immense pain and needs to be addressed immediately.

10. Foul Taste or Odour in the Mouth

If an unpleasant taste or odour is present in the mouth, it may be a sign of an infected tooth requiring root canal therapy. It could be caused by bacteria that has reached the tooth’s inner layer and needs to be treated with a root canal. 


All in all, it’s important to remember not to wait too long if you believe you may need a root canal. It may be uncomfortable, but treating that pain sooner can help prevent more serious dental issues. Ultimately, it adds up when we ensure our teeth are properly cared for and kept healthy! Not only do we get relief from discomfort, but we also are actively investing in our smiles which will bring more confidence.