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Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Are you concerned about a tooth and aren't sure if you need a root canal? Dr. Richard Hamaty, your Yorba Linda, CA, dentist, shares root canalseveral signs that may indicate that you can benefit from the tooth-saving procedure.


Pain occurs due to a dying nerve in your pulp, which is caused by an infection or inflammation. The pulp is located in the center of the tooth and contains nerves, blood vessels and tissue. If you need a root canal, you may notice that your pain is worse when you eat or press down on the tooth. Pain can be constant or can come or go. The pain may be severe if you have an infection, also called an abscess, in the root of the tooth.

Gum tenderness

Red, swollen gums around a problem tooth may also be a warning sign.

Sensitivity to extreme temperatures

Have you been avoiding hot and cold foods and beverages because of the pain in your tooth? Sensitivity to extreme temperatures can be a sign of a problem with your tooth's nerves. The pain can be dull, aching or severe.

Broken or cracked tooth

A cracked or broken tooth may seem like a minor problem, particularly if the damaged area is small. Unfortunately, bacteria can enter your pulp through the crack or break and cause an infection.

Signs of infection

If you have an abscess, you'll probably notice one or more signs of infection, including fever, swollen lymph glands, facial or jaw swelling or a small pimple on the gum near your tooth.

How can a root canal help me?

During a root canal, your dentist removes the pulp from the tooth. Although people like to joke about painful root canals, there's no reason to be in pain during the procedure. Your Yorba Linda dentist won't proceed until he's sure that you are comfortably numb. As part of the procedure, he'll file and shape your root canals and replace your pulp with a flexible filling material called gutta percha.

Tiny rods may also be added to the tooth to support the crown that you'll receive after your root canal is completed. Although your tooth will be a little sensitive for a week or two, you'll soon be pain-free and able to chew and bite normally again.

If you have any root canal warning signs, it's important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Call Dr. Hamaty, your Yorba Linda, CA, dentist, at (714) 779-1313 to schedule your appointment.

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Richard Hamaty, DMD


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9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


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