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If you’re experiencing tooth pain, it can be easy to jump to the conclusion that you have a root canal infection. However, there’s a wide variety of common tooth pain symptoms people experience that can be the cause of something as simple as a cavity. It’s important to understand how to best detect if you have a root canal infection before visiting the dentist.

There are many obvious signs that are an indicator that treatment is required, however, there are less than obvious ones as well. Here’s a guide on how to know if your root canal needs treatment:

Tooth Pain
The most obvious symptom, the infected root canal can cause pain to the material on the inside of the tooth. The inner tooth material is especially sensitive and can be so painful that it affects your jaw, neck and even ear. Tooth pain will often affect the ability to chew and is extremely sensitive to any application of pressure or exposure to heat or cold. The pain can be so overwhelming that it affects your ability to sleep at night. It can also either be a spontaneous pain that randomly occurs then disappears or be triggered by drinking cold water after having something hot.

Swollen and Tender Gums
Swelling is another common symptom associated with a root canal infection. A more obvious indicator of the symptom is a large lump in the gums that you can easily feel and see. However, tenderness and swollen gums can be less prominent. Tenderness and swelling happens simultaneously with a toothache and can expand to the neck, jaw and face area as well. The swelling can last for an extended period of time and the pain is severe. It’s also possible that a pimple-like sore in the gum forms on the front or on the tip of the root that causes pain.

Bad Breath
Infections can cause bacteria to emit a bad smell, and this can apply to a root canal infection. If there is damage to the tooth enamel from cavities, bad bacteria or erosion, then it’s possible for bacteria to go into the root canal and multiply. If bad bacteria multiply in the pulp, it will give off the bad smelling odour. A dental abscess which is pus that forms in a tooth or around it can also be the cause of the smell. Dental abscesses are also a common symptom of this infection, and usually occur as small bumps before expanding.

Discolouration of the Tooth
The infected tooth may become dark yellow or blue/gray which is easily noticeable compared to the rest of the teeth. This occurs because of limited blood flow and that the nerve is severely infected.

If you’re experiencing root canal infection symptoms, visit Dentistry in Newmarket. Our staff of professionally trained dentists in Newmarket can provide emergency dental services to help if the tooth is infected. Give us a call to book an appointment or visit our office today!