When is Root Canal Treatment Needed?

You may not feel any pain at first when you have an infection in the pulp. However, if the tooth is left untreated, the infection will cause pain and swelling. In some cases, an abscess will form. Eventually, the tooth may need to be extracted. Some indications that a tooth may need a root canal treatment are:

A tooth that hurts significantly when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it

  • This pain may radiate out to the ear, or jaw areas
  • Sensitivity to heat, a classic sign of the pulp being damaged irreversibly
  • Sensitivity to cold that lasts longer than a couple of seconds
  • Swelling near the affected tooth. There may be discharging pus, which can cause bad smell or taste
  • A discolored tooth, with or without pain. This occurs with a “dead” tooth
  • A severely broken tooth. There may be a sign of the damage that is causing the toothache, including a cavity