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It takes work to have a healthy smile. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis, you should visit a dental office in San Jose regularly to make sure your oral health is in good standing. Your dentist will give you a full oral health evaluation, checking for gum disease, decay, and other issues. During your visit, you should let your dentist know if you’ve noticed any changes in your oral health, such as pain, sensitivity, or any irritations around your gums. It is possible that such changes could indicate that you need a root canal. Keep reading to learn more.


A toothache is one of the most common dental issues. Though a toothache can happen for a variety of reasons, it is a potential sign that you need a root canal. When the pulp inside of a tooth becomes infected, it affects the nerve. Pressure from chewing, biting, or sometimes even speaking can cause intense pain in the affected tooth. In some cases, you may feel tooth pain even when there is no direct stimulus causing it. You may also notice sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, and the pain may continue even after the offending mouthful is gone.


When the pulp inside of a tooth dies, a pocket can form around the root where bacteria gather. This pocket presents itself as a pimple-like bump on your gums, known as an abscess. The bump may be painful and swollen, and will come back even if the pressure is relieved. Though an infection of this kind can be kept from spreading with antibiotics, the only way to eliminate the problem is with a root canal. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the bone and cause even more serious issues.


A tooth with severe decay or dead pulp may have a different appearance than your other healthy teeth. Look for signs of discoloration, especially when the discoloration is limited to a single tooth. A darkening of a tooth, especially when combined with pain, sensitivity, or an abscess, is a sign that you should see your dentist to find out if you need a root canal.