Signs That a Root Canal Is Necessary

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When the soft core inside your teeth, made up of the pulp and the root, starts to decay or die, it’s important to seek treatment immediately to prevent the damage from spreading. 

What is a root canal?

A root canal clears away the rotted interior, and restores your tooth to health. This procedure involves:

  • Removing bacteria and decay from inside of the tooth
  • Using antibiotics to disinfect the site
  • Filling and sealing the area to prevent further decay 

Your natural tooth will remain intact and in place, however it will be more fragile following a root canal. Your doctor may recommend covering it with a crown to protect it. 

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Because issues at the core of a tooth are hard to see with the naked eye, how can you know if and when you might need a root canal? There are a few signs to look out for. 

Recurring pain

Pain is a symptom associated with many kinds of dental problems (e.g., gum disease, cavities, an impacted tooth) and is always something you should get checked out by your dentist as soon as possible. 

The pain may be constant or it might come and go. It can also feel like it is originating in different parts of your mouth, from deep in your tooth to your jaw, face, or other teeth. 

Only your dentist will be able to diagnose if the cause of your pain is inner tooth decay requiring a root canal. 

Tooth sensitivity 

If biting into a popsicle or drinking a steaming mug of coffee causes you to wince in pain, this could point to damaged nerves and blood vessels in your teeth. 

Tooth sensitivity can take the form of a sudden, sharp pain or a low-level ache that lingers. Pay particular attention to pain that is long-lasting and persists even after you’re done eating and drinking. 


When tooth pulp gets damaged or dies, it can show up as a tooth that turns gray or black. The root cause is often poor blood supply to the teeth, which may indicate that a root canal is necessary. If you have dental concerns that may indicate if a root canal is necessary, contact our dental team in Westwood and West Los Angeles today.

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If you are looking for a dentist in West Los Angeles, call the Lotus Family Dental office today. We offer consultations to all new patients. Make an appointment with us today!

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