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When Do You Need a Root Canal? A Simple Guide to Root Canals

    Are you one of the 67% of Americans that fear getting a root canal? If so, it’s time to dispel those fears! This common dental procedure isn’t as scary or painful as people perceive it to be. 

    By learning a bit more about the procedure and why you need one, you can calm your fears. Then if the time comes and you need one, you’ll know what to expect. 

    So, when do you need a root canal? This simple guide will explain the root canal procedure. 

    What Is a Root Canal

    Let’s start with the root canal basics by explaining what it is. Your teeth have nerves that can become inflamed or infected. If left alone, the infection can spread and become a bigger and more painful problem. 

    During root canal treatment, a tooth’s nerve and pulp are removed. The inside is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This saves your tooth and removes the part causing irritation and decay. 

    When Do You Need a Root Canal?

    You need to have a root canal if you’re experiencing certain symptoms. These are all signs of advanced decay or infection. 

    • Sharp pain when chewing
    • Tooth sensitivity that lingers
    • Chipped or cracked teeth 
    • Swollen and painful gums  
    • Pimples on your gums 
    • Deep decay and dark gums 

    Best Time to Get a Root Canal

    The best time to get a root canal is as soon as possible. Getting a root canal done immediately stops the decay and infection. If you decide to delay or avoid it, you risk an abscess forming. 

    You also risk completely losing the tooth. At this point, the problem has gone on so long it’s resulted in bone loss. 

    Tips for Getting a Root Canal

    There are a few things you can do to make your experience a more pleasant one. Before the procedure, discuss possible painkillers for your post-treatment care. Fill those prescriptions before your procedure, so you have them ready. 

    Get a good night’s sleep the night before. This helps your body to be in good condition to start the healing process. You can also help your body by eating nutritious and well-balanced meals. 

    After the procedure, wait until the numbing has worn off to eat anything. Otherwise, you risk accidentally biting your tongue or cheek and causing yourself more pain. Remember, there will be some swelling and tenderness, so things will feel different in your mouth. 

    Avoid exercise for a few days. Getting back in the gym too soon can cause you to start bleeding. This opens your mouth up to infection and slows down the healing process. 

    Visit Your Dentist Today 

    When do you need a root canal? The answer is now if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this guide. The sooner you see a dentist, the better off you’ll be and the more likely they will be able to save your tooth. 

    A root canal isn’t as scary or painful as people think they are. With a little planning and preparation, you can alleviate any post-procedure discomfort and be back to regular life in no time. 

    Browse our other articles for more health advice and explanations.