7 Telltale Signs that You Need a Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment, or a root canal for short, is a dental treatment done to clean out tooth decay or an infection inside the pulp or root of your tooth. It is an important procedure, as leaving your tooth infected can cause a myriad of problems that would require more serious procedures like surgery. It is important to understand that in some cases, you will need to get a root canal treatment in Singapore.

What exactly is a root canal?

A root canal treatment is a dental procedure that aims to get rid of bacteria from an infected tooth, prevent any future reinfection and, most importantly, save the natural tooth. An alternative to getting a root canal treatment is to extract the natural tooth itself, which can no longer be replaced naturally by your body. This is why a root canal is important, as it allows you to keep your natural tooth without having to get dentures as replacement. 

The procedure for a root canal treatment is very straightforward, and most dentists can perform a root canal treatment. Millions of teeth every year are treated and saved through root canals, and patients are very satisfied with the results of the procedure, having relieved the tooth pain.

The question now is, when will you need a root canal treatment? Here are 8 telltale signs:

  1. Your teeth have high sensitivity to heat or cold.

Are you having trouble eating hot food like soup, or drinking a cup of hot tea? Or maybe you have been avoiding eating ice cream recently since your teeth are too sensitive to the cold temperature? If that’s the case, then you may need to see your dentist and see if you need a root canal treatment.

You will know when your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures when you feel a slight pain or discomfort when the food touches your teeth. This pain or discomfort may linger for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes depending on the intensity of the sensitivity. This extreme sensitivity may be caused by damaged or infected nerves and blood vessels inside your tooth and you may need to undergo a root canal treatment to treat it.

  1. You experience recurring and/or persistent toothache or pain.

If you are experiencing extreme toothache that persists, then you may possibly require a root canal to get rid of that pain. Tooth pain is one of the most common symptoms of a tooth infection, and it is important that you determine what causes the pain by consulting with a dentist. 

During your consultation you need to be able to describe as accurately as you can the tooth pain. Try to locate the precise location of the pain, what actions can trigger the pain, the intensity of the pain and how often it persists. Your dentist will diagnose you by examining your teeth and he/she may recommend a root canal treatment. Besides a tooth infection, tooth pain may also be caused by a periodontal disease, cavities, or a damaged, cracked or impacted tooth.

  1. Your gums swell around a possibly infected tooth.

If you feel some swelling on your gums around a certain tooth, then that may be caused by that particular tooth having an infection. This gum swelling can disappear and reappear after a certain time, or it may be a persistent swelling that may be painful to touch. Whichever is the case, they can both be caused by an infected tooth, which may require a root canal treatment.

When your tooth becomes infected, it can spread to surrounding gum tissue which can swell and cause pain. If this happens to you, consult a dentist or gum specialist to determine the cause of the problem. You may have to undergo a root canal if it is found that a tooth infection was the reason for your swelling gums.

  1. You have some tooth discoloration.

If you have good dental habits but still exhibit tooth discoloration, then a possible cause may be an infection in the pulp of your tooth. If your tooth encounters trauma or there is some damage to internal tissue, then this damage can manifest in the tooth having a grayish to black coloration. This is due to a lack of blood being supplied to the tooth and an immediate root canal treatment has to be done to salvage the tooth. 

There are many possible causes for a tooth to change in color, but it is best still to consult with your dentist to be able to determine the exact reasons for your tooth to change color. Your dentist may recommend multiple treatments to fix it, including possibly a root canal.

  1. Your tooth feels loose or is not fixed in place.

Another sign that you may need a root canal treatment is if one or several of your teeth feel loose and may feel as if you are about to lose them. This feeling can be caused by an infection on the root of the tooth, which can soften the bone and make the tooth not hold in place better. A root canal may be recommended by your dentist after the consultation.

  1. You feel some pain or discomfort on your tooth whenever you eat or when you touch it directly.

This is one of the symptoms of nerve damage inside your tooth, which can be treated with a root canal. If the pain persists for a few seconds after you touch your tooth, or if it doesn’t disappear immediately after eating, then you may need an immediate root canal to fix it. 

Nerve damage or an infected tooth pulp can irritate the ligament around your tooth’s root. This causes pain when biting or when applying pressure to the affected tooth. 

  1. You have cracked or chipped your tooth due to an accident or by biting something hard.

If you suffer an injury that damages your teeth, then there is a high risk of bacteria entering your tooth and causing an infection. This can lead to inflammation and may need a root canal treatment to remove the infection and salvage the damaged teeth.


Dennis Tan Dental


The Arcade

11 Collyer Quay #03-28

Singapore 049317




Phone: +6564385622

Fax: +654385625