Dental pain is never fun, but sometimes it can signify a more serious problem. If you’re experiencing severe pain in your tooth or gums, it could indicate that you need a root canal.

Repairing and saving a badly infected or decaying tooth calls for a root canal treatment. To fix it, the procedure involves removing the damaged or infected tissue inside the tooth and then filling and sealing the tooth. 

When should I Get a Root Canal? 

Getting a root canal is necessary when the nerve of your tooth becomes exposed or damaged. This can happen due to gradual decay, sudden injury, or other issues. When the nerve is damaged, it can become infected and cause pain. A root canal helps to remove the damaged tissue and relieve the pain.

If you’re unsure whether or not you need a root canal, here are some signs to look out for:

Severe Toothache 

Pain is the most common and obvious sign that something is wrong with your tooth. If you have a toothache accompanied by fever, swelling, or pain radiating to your jaw, ear, or neck, you likely have an infection requiring a root canal to clear up. 

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Tooth sensitivity is most often caused by damage to the tooth enamel. Enamel is the tooth’s hard outer layer that protects the inner layers from damage. When the enamel is damaged, it can allow the tooth’s inner layers to be exposed to hot and cold temperatures. This can cause the tooth to become sensitive.

If your tooth becomes sensitive to extremes in temperature, it may be a sign that the nerve is damaged and needs to be removed. If you have tooth sensitivity, it is important to see your dentist for an evaluation. 

Darkening of the Tooth

If your tooth starts to change color, it could indicate an infection in your root canal.

The discoloration in your teeth is caused by the bacteria associated with root canal infections and is usually felt around the area most susceptible to outside elements.

Swelling and Tenderness in the Gums

If you have swelling or tenderness in your gums around a particular tooth, it could be a sign of an infection.

If you feel pain in your teeth or gums, you must visit a dentist immediately to determine the cause. In some cases, the pain could indicate an infection requiring root canal treatment. 

A Small Bump on the Gums 

If you have a small bump on your gums, it could be a sign of an abscess. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms around the tooth’s root and can be a severe condition. If you believe you might have an abscess, you should see your dentist right away. They will likely need to perform a root canal to clear up the infection. 


If you experience these signs, be sure to see your dentist immediately. While root canals may have a reputation for being painful, the truth is, they are usually no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. With today’s technology and techniques, root canals can be performed quickly and easily, with little to no discomfort.

Are you looking for root canal treatment in Chattanooga? We offer the highest standard of dental care here in Shallowford Family Dental with four highly trained doctors dedicated to treating your dental needs with care. Give us a call, and we look forward to meeting you soon!

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