When is Root Canal Treatment Required?

Team Endodontics

The phrase root canal is one that makes patients cringe. No one wants to hear their dentist tell them they need this procedure. But, while it may sound scary, the truth is that it is becoming nearly as common as a filing for a cavity. 

Root canal treatment can help to save your tooth – and relieve pain. So, what is it? And, when is it required? Let’s talk about it. 

Root Canal Treatment: What is it? 

What may have started out as a small cavity grows without treatment. As the decay spreads, it can work its way through the outer layer of enamel, the second layer known as dentin, and the soft inner core that goes all the way to the jaw bone. It’s the core where you will find the pulp, full of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue. 

Once the decay reaches the core, it can lead to inflammation and infection which can be incredibly painful for some. 

Root canal treatment cleans out the decay that has reached the pulp and heals the infection.

Signs a Root Canal Treatment is Needed 

Signs of infection and decay that are serious enough to warrant a root canal treatment are: 


Root canal pain in teeth can be present when eating, when applying pressure to the area, or just a general chronic ache. It is important to keep in mind that there are many dental issues that cause tooth pain – and not all require a root canal. A thorough examination by a dentist will help determine the appropriate treatment method.  

Sensitivity to Hot or Cold

When a root canal is needed, it is common to feel sensitivity when eating or drinking something cold or hot. Sipping hot coffee or eating ice cream, for example, can give you an uncomfortable sensation that hurts momentarily. Though, sometimes the pain can linger for a little bit. 

Keep in mind that some people are naturally sensitive to certain temperatures so it is best to have your dentist examine the teeth to see if a root canal is needed. 

Changes in Gums

The decay going on within the tooth can impact the gums, too. Sometimes they will swell or feel sore and tender around the infected tooth. The appearance of a small bump that looks similar to a pimple may also be found on the gums near the tooth. 

This can signal that something is going on within the tooth that requires attention. 

Discoloration of the Tooth

A tooth that is full of decay will often begin to change color. Rather than being its usual pearly-white self, it may start to darken. This may be in certain areas or within the whole tooth. 

Anytime you see color changes and darkening within a tooth it is cause for concern and should be addressed by your dentist. 

Root Canals at Hudson Endodontics

If you require a root canal or you think you may need one, it is important to see your dentist right away. At Hudson Endodontics, we are specialists in saving teeth. 

Call our office today at 603-882-5455. Or, schedule an appointment online.