When Do You Need a Root Canal?

A root canal is one of the most common types of dental emergency procedures. It’s used to treat a badly infected tooth by clearing all the bacteria and infected tissue from its inside, including from the narrow chambers of the root, called the canals.

Treating a tooth infection swiftly is critical because over time it can lead to permanent tooth loss or even spread to surrounding tissues like your gums or even the jaw bone.

Here are 6 signs you may need a root canal in West Bend right away:

High Levels of Pain

A tooth infection can be quite painful, and even keep you up at night. Usually, patients will experience it in waves, but it will feel sharp and very intense.

Moreover, pain caused by a tooth infection usually can’t be managed with OTC pain medication and other remedies. The only way to relieve your discomfort is through dental treatment.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a lot of different things. However, in most cases, the sensitivity goes away right after the tooth is exposed.

If it lingers, it's most likely caused by a tooth infection, which has weakened the tooth.

Tooth Chips or Cracks

Tooth infections weaken the tooth to the point where it can easily crack or chip when you eat something that’s not even very hard.

The tooth is filled with bacteria, which is attacking the tissues, such as the enamel and the dentin. As it eats more and more tissue, the tooth itself won’t be able to withstand any pressure.

Tooth Discoloration

An infected tooth can appear darker than the rest because the tissues inside are affected and the tooth itself may be slowly dying.

Usually, most patients with tooth discoloration also experience other signs of an infection, especially pain, but not always. If your tooth is discolored, report it to your dentist just to be safe.


Large infections can lead to an abscess forming just below or under the tooth. This looks like a tiny pimple, filled with pus. This is a clear sign that the infection is beginning to spread, and requires immediate oral care.

Tender and Swollen Gums

If the infection spreads, it can affect the gums as well. You may notice the gum area next to the tooth is a bit swollen, and even feels tender when you touch it.

Swollen and tender gums can be caused by other conditions, such as gum disease, but it's still a cause to see the dentist right away.

How Oakbrook Dental Can Help

If you think you have a tooth infection, don’t wait. With swift action, ​Dr. Reema Patel or Dr. Pako Major may be able to restore the tooth’s health.

Call us at (262) 335-0822 for emergency oral care.

For a regular appointment, request a visit at online.