Root canals may be necessary for several reasons. First, when harmful bacteria reach the tooth’s root structure, an infection results. Generally known as an abscess, this type of infection causes swelling, inflammation, tenderness, and sensitivity to heat or cold.
Additionally, you may need a root canal if you suffer trauma to a tooth. Any time the nerve is damaged, a root canal is necessary to preserve the rest of the tooth structure. Sometimes a root canal is needed right away. Other times, you may have suffered nerve damage years ago, but your tooth is just now starting to discolor and lose nerve function.
Finally, we will recommend a root canal in some cases of ongoing infection, such as periodontal disease. In cases like this, the gum tissue often starts to recede, exposing the roots to the harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and pain.