Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, root canal symptoms can include:
- pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink
- pain when biting or chewing
- a loose tooth
- swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
- pus oozing from the affected tooth
- facial swelling
- the tooth becoming a darker colour
As the infection progresses and the pulp, the soft tissue at the center of the tooth, dies, and your symptoms may disappear. Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
It's important to see your dentist if you develop toothache.
How does the pulp get infected?
The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth if you have decay, leaky fillings or you have trauma to your tooth.
When will my dentist carry out root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is only required when it's clear that the pulp has been damaged by a bacterial infection.
Your dentist can test your teeth and use X-rays to establish whether there's a bacterial infection.
Root Canal Treatment or Extraction?
If your tooth is infected, the pulp can't heal by itself. By leaving the infected tooth in your mouth you risk the infection spreading. If you need root canal treatment, the only alternative is to have the tooth removed. However, this isn't usually recommended, because it's better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
Visit your dentist if you think you need a root canal treatment.