Root Canal Therapy

What are the signs that a root canal is needed?

a) Tooth pain.

The type and degree of pain you experience can vary widely.

Its intensity can range from just very mild to extreme. It may include a throbbing component. Its character may change as you vary your posture (standing up vs. bending over).

The pain may only come in response to a stimulus, such as biting pressure or hot and cold foods and beverages. In other instances, its onset may be totally unprovoked.

The pain sometimes lingers and then fades. In other cases, it may last for hours on end.


b) Gum tenderness or swelling in the area near the tooth.

The amount of swelling can range from very slight (just an area of tenderness) to quite pronounced. It may even extend into your face or neck.

In cases where the swelling is relatively minor and localized, it typically occurs at a level that approximates the tip of the tooth’s root.

A pimple-like drain for pus may form on your gums


c) Individually darkened teeth.

The nerve tissue inside a tooth may ultimately degenerate as a response to some type of trauma (like being bumped in an accident). This process can take place even some years after the original event, frequently without displaying any obvious symptoms (pain, swelling).

As a tooth’s nerve tissue necroses, dark-coloured byproducts can seep into the hard tissues of the tooth (dentin and enamel) and cause staining.

As a result, the compromised tooth will have a shade that’s slightly darker than its neighbouring teeth. This colour mismatch is often the sole reason why a dentist will suspect that a tooth is in need of root canal treatment.


Situations where a tooth’s need for root canal treatment may only be obvious to our dentists:

Some teeth give little indication that there’s a problem within their nerve space. These cases are often discovered, unexpectedly, during a routine dental examination. This is why routine dental x-rays can be important.

The death of a tooth’s nerve tissue isn’t always a painful event. It’s possible that this process can take place without producing any obvious symptoms at all. The tooth’s need for root canal treatment may remain undiscovered, even for some years.

If so, it may take your dentist’s keen eye during their examination to discover evidence that indicates that endodontic therapy is needed for your tooth.

What can you do if you notice symptoms?

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, please contact our office (306)463-4661 to make arrangements to be evaluated and treated as our dentists determine is necessary.