dentist showing x-ray to patient who needs root canal in West Bloomfield

The last time you saw your dentist for a routine checkup, they took x-rays of your mouth as usual. You were surprised when they told you that you needed to get a root canal. Don’t you need to be in pain to need a root canal in West Bloomfield? Not necessarily. In fact, pain is just one of many symptoms that you might need this treatment. Keep reading as we explain why you might need a root canal even if your tooth doesn’t hurt.

What Is a Root Canal?

While a root canal is technically the name for the nerve-filled pathways that run up and down the insides of your tooth, the term also refers to a procedure in which an infection is removed from the tooth. During this procedure, the tooth’s center (called the pulp) is taken out, and the tooth’s insides are disinfected. After the pulp is replaced with a synthetic material, a dental crown is placed over it for protection against further damage.

Why Do You Need a Root Canal If Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt?

Pain is one of the most common signs that a root canal is needed, but an infected tooth sometimes doesn’t hurt at all. If an infection has damaged the tooth’s nerve badly enough, it won’t be able to send pain signals to the brain. However, there are plenty of other symptoms of a tooth infection that you shouldn’t ignore, some of which include:

  • Lingering sensitivity to heat or coldness
  • Swollen gums surrounding the tooth
  • Pimple-like bumps on the gums
  • Dark discoloration of a tooth or its nearby gums

If you notice any of these signs, contact your dentist in West Bloomfield as soon as you can.

The Dangers of Avoiding a Root Canal When You Need One

It can be tempting to put off getting a root canal when you’re not in pain. Doing so, however, could spell disaster for your oral health. In most cases, root canal therapy is the only way to treat an infection that has reached the tooth’s center. If it’s not addressed soon enough, the tooth may have to be extracted to prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth. Extracting a tooth is a traumatic procedure that can make eating more difficult. Not to mention, replacing a missing tooth can be pricey.

It’s always best to go through with a root canal as soon as your dentist says that you need one. It could save your smile!

About the Practice

At LakeView Family Dental, our team of four skilled dentists is committed to providing quality care exactly when you need it. We use the latest technology and a team-based approach to deliver care in a comfortable environment. We even offer same-day appointments for dental emergencies like severe toothaches. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms described in this post, contact our office at 248-363-3304 right away.