How to Tell if You Need Root Canal Therapy

Dental health sometimes requires a bit of detective work. If your tooth hurts, then an examination could tell you why. If your teeth need treatment, then further investigation can determine how severe your condition is, and which restorative treatment options are appropriate. Sometimes, you can play your own dental detective, and gauge whether or not you’ll need extensive treatment, like root canal therapy, based on the intensity of your symptoms.

The Symptoms of Severe Tooth Decay

Just because you have a toothache doesn’t mean your tooth is decaying, but cavities are among the most common reasons for sensitive teeth. The more your tooth hurts, the more advanced your tooth’s decay has become, and the more likely you’ll need extensive treatment. Signs that could indicate a need for root canal therapy include;

  • Severe, lingering tooth pain
  • Increased sensitivity when you bite and chew
  • Tooth agitation when you consume hot or cold substances
  • An abscess (growth or pocket of infection) on the tooth root, under the gums
  • Visible discoloration from within the tooth’s structure

What to Know About Root Canals

A root canal is the passage through which your jawbone sends nutrients to a tooth’s interior. When the inner chamber, or pulp, of a tooth is infected, the bacteria can travel through these canals and into the surrounding jawbone and tissues. Root canal treatment describes thoroughly cleaning the inside of your tooth, sealing the roots and filling the tooth with a composite resin material, then capping it all with a dental crown. Besides relieving pain, the procedure will restore your tooth’s health and ability to function so you can comfortably bite and chew your food once again.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.