How Do You Tell If You Need A Root Canal?

How Do You Tell If You Need A Root Canal?

Team Root Canal

When a tooth becomes significantly infected, a dentist may recommend root canal treatment. Per the American Association of Endodontists, a root canal involves removing the infected pulp inside a tooth. Ideally, the procedure guards against further decay.

The best way to tell if you need a root canal is to see your dentist regularly. A dental professional should check your teeth at least once every six months to confirm they’re in good condition.

However, if you haven’t seen your dentist recently, it’s important to be familiar with warning signs indicating you may be in need of root canal treatment. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you notice any such signs. The sooner you receive treatment, the better the odds the treatment will be successful.

Do I Need a Root Canal? Signs to be on the Lookout For

Warning signs that you might need a root canal include the following:


This is among the most common symptoms of an infected tooth in need of root canal treatment. Although any toothache is a good reason to see a dentist, you might need a root canal if your toothache is particularly severe, if it’s very persistent, and if your pain is more intense when you bite down.

Temperature Sensitivity

Monitor your discomfort when exposing your teeth to relatively extreme temperatures. If a tooth seems to be very sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, you might need a root canal.

Bad Breath

Do you or others notice a significant odor coming from your mouth? If this persists despite your best efforts to address the odor, it’s possible the source is an infected tooth. Along with an odor, you might also notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth that doesn’t seem to go away.

Change in Tooth Color

Take a look at a tooth that’s causing pain or discomfort. Is it discolored or darkened? A change in tooth color may be the result of infected pulp. Similarly, the pulp of a tooth might be infected if you notice any pus in the area.

Gum Swelling

It’s also important to take a close look at your gums when checking on a painful tooth. Swollen gums is a sure sign of a problem that a dental professional should look into.

Even if your gums aren’t noticeably swollen, look closely for any small bumps that could resemble pimples. Such bumps might also be a sign a root canal is necessary.

Tooth Damage

Tooth damage, such as a crack or chip, isn’t necessarily a sign that a tooth’s pulp has already become infected. However, it is a sign the pulp may be in danger of infection, as this kind of damage can allow bacteria to more easily reach the pulp.

Call your dentist right away if you notice any of these warning signs. They’ll confirm whether you need a root canal. Luckily, by being proactive and receiving treatment fast, your odds of preserving an infected tooth will be much greater.

Learn More About Root Canal Treatment

At Koppelman Dental, in Manhattan, New York, we’re on hand to check your teeth and answer your questions about root canal treatment. Schedule an appointment by contacting us online today or calling us at 212-382-3782.