5 Signs You Need Root Canal Treatment

  • -

5 Signs You Need Root Canal Treatment

young woman with sensitive toothache in need of root canal treatment

After several weeks of ongoing dental pain that is barely eliminated with over-the-counter pain relievers, you finally schedule an appointment with your local dentist. You assume you probably have a cavity that can be easily treated with a dental filling. “No big deal,” you think, “I’ve had one before.”

While there, the dentist takes x-rays and determines that the pain is a result of decay well below the surface of your tooth. But instead of a dental filling, he recommends root canal treatment. Your heart rate instantly increases and you get a sense of dread in the pit of your stomach. He advises that if the tooth isn’t treated soon, it will continue to worsen and may even require an extraction.

While many hear the term “root canal” and panic, it’s a commonly performed treatment that can help save a tooth and prevent someone from having a tooth extraction and costly restorative repairs. If you are unsure whether you are in need of root canal treatment, below are five common signs to be aware of.

Our doctors can effectively and comfortably perform your root canal treatment at our Chandler, AZ office. Call us today at (480) 732-7874, or simply request an appointment online.

Is it Painful to Chew?

If you have difficulty biting down or chewing, that is one of the first signs that something may be wrong. Though it may be possible that it’s only a cavity, if the pain increases with overuse, has become chronic, and is followed by gum tenderness – this typically means the issue is more serious and should be addressed immediately.

Root canal treatment is almost just as common as performing a dental filling. If you’re concerned about undergoing this procedure, during your consultation, ask how often your dentist performs root canal treatments and their average success rate. If your dentist only performs this procedure only a few times a month, it may be best to seek a second opinion from a more qualified professional.

Is Your Mouth Swollen?

When there is a cavity, pain is generally minimal or isolated to one section of the mouth. When the infection penetrates the root canal, the gums around the tooth may be red and swollen. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may even notice swelling in your cheeks or jawline. Though icing your face can reduce the swelling, it will not eliminate the infection.

Is Your Tooth Discolored?

Some dental staining and discoloration are normal, especially if you drink dark colored beverages regularly or smoke. However, if you notice the tooth pain is followed by discoloration, this is a sign of something more serious that cannot be addressed with just teeth whitening.

Does the Tooth Have an Abscess?

An abscess is a visible pimple that is around the base of the tooth along the gum line. It is typically sore to the touch and filled with pus. Once found, it’s important that an appointment is scheduled immediately. If the abscess seeps or ruptures, the infection could spread throughout your mouth and even leak into your bloodstream, causing even more serious concerns.

Do You Have Dental Sensitivity?

In addition to gum inflammation and dental pain, some people experience sensitivity when consuming hot and cold foods. Because this is also possible during minor to moderate tooth decay, it is not the only symptom that the infection has penetrated the root canals. This is why visiting the dentist as soon as dental sensitivity occurs is important. When decay is caught early, more conservative treatments can be performed first.

Ask Your Dentist About Other Treatment Options

Root canal therapy is typically recommended as a last resort to prevent an extraction, but designed to help save a tooth. In some cases, more conservative treatments, such as a dental filling or dental crown may be possible. The level of care recommended will depend on if the infection has impaired the roots. When meeting with the dentist, be sure and ask if more conservative treatments are possible. Most dentists will be upfront with you and explain why the treatment is necessary. If cost is a concern, we offer in-house payment plans and accept CareCredit to help make treatment more affordable.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you live in the Chandler area and are looking for an experienced dentist to perform your root canal treatment, please contact our office today online or call (480) 732-7874.




  • -
bruxism causing man to hold painful jaw

Relief from Migraines, TMJ Disorder, and Bruxism

Unconsciously grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw at night is called bruxism. It’s said that roughly 30 percent of the U.S. population will experience some form of bruxism in their lives, whether it be chronic or intermittently. TMJ disorder includes painful symptoms, such as jaw pain, frequent headaches (especially in the temples), shoulder and neck stiffness, migraines, and muscle spasms. This condition results from overusing or misusing your temporomandibular joints, which reside on either side of your lower jaw and connect it to the two sides of your skull. A misaligned bite is usually the cause of TMJ disorder, but that doesn’t mean orthodontics are the only way to treat it!

You may wonder why these two disorders are discussed together. They’re both results of nightly teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Drs. Scott Lee and Adam Proctor in Chandler, AZ recommend their patients use night guards to stop unconscious teeth grinding.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Lee or Dr. Proctor to put an end to nightly teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Get the relief you deserve. Call 480-732-7874 today.

Negative Results of Bruxism and TMJ Disorder

Unknowingly grinding your teeth at night can cause serious pain when you are awake. You may experience frequent migraines or headaches or feel stiffness in your neck and shoulders each morning. These are unpleasant, but common side effects of bruxism and TMJ disorder. Bruxism can ruin the integrity of past dental work by wearing down your teeth. It’s not uncommon to experience chips, cracks, or loosened teeth as a result of bruxism.

TMJ disorder occurs due to excessive strain placed on your jaw muscles. If you’re grinding or clenching your teeth at night, your jaws never get the rest and recuperation they so desperately need. This is why you may feel such intense pain when chewing, biting, or talking. Overuse of your temporomandibular joints can a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth.

Over time, with continued teeth grinding, enamel may wear down and teeth may become extremely sensitive. Your neck, head, shoulders, jaw, and tooth roots can all become sensitive as a result of bruxism, as well.

Our Solution

At Every Smile Chandler, Drs. Lee and Proctor recommend night guards as a simple solution to your grinding or clenching. A night guard is similar to an athletic mouth guard, however it’s used solely while you sleep. It’s incredibly simple to use, just insert the plastic device into your mouth before going to bed and remove it once you wake up. While you’re asleep, it will protect the tops of your teeth, reducing wear and sensitivity. After wearing the mouth guard for a few nights, you should begin to sleep better, allowing you to feel better rested when you wake.

Drs. Lee and Proctor will examine your mouth and take your symptoms into consideration before recommending a night guard. Your night guard will be custom-made to fit the unique shape of your mouth. To ensure a perfect fit, Drs. Lee and Proctor will take impressions of your mouth before having the customized guard created in a dental laboratory. This will guarantee the greatest level of comfort and the best results.


You can expect to wear your night guard every night. You’ll be asleep while wearing the device; therefore, it won’t interfere with your routines. Although you can buy night guards at stores, these are one-size-fits-all and do not fit as well or feel as comfortable. Even the boil-and-bite variety are not ideal, as any error in the pressure of your bite can result in an improper fit. As a result, patients frequently remove them because they feel too bulky. Having one created for you by our doctors will produce better results and fit more comfortably in your mouth.

Schedule your appointment with Chandler, AZ dentists Drs. Lee and Proctor today to receive your customized night guard. You’ll experience relief from your pain and a better night’s sleep! Call 480-732-7874.

Schedule An Appointment

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
Translate »