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When a tooth is cracked or has a significant cavity, bacteria is able to enter the pulp, and if left untreated, can lead to serious infection, bone loss, or the loss of the tooth itself. A root canal is a dental treatment used to repair a diseased tooth by removing the pulp inside of the tooth and filling the canal to seal the space. This procedure can help save your teeth for a lifetime. Your dentist may recommend a root canal when your tooth shows signs of infection or significant pulpal nerve damage.

Think you might need a root canal? Here are some signs to look for.

Discoloration of Your Gums

Infection at the roots of your teeth can show up as gum discoloration. Your normal shade of gums is probably familiar to you, but if there’s a patch that’s darker than the rest, infection near a tooth’s root may be to blame.

Discoloration of a Tooth

A dead tooth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Physical trauma to your mouth can sometimes rupture the blood vessels in your tooth’s pulp chamber. If you can see a tooth darkening after it took a hit, you may want to contact your dentist and describe it as a dental emergency.

Pimples on Your Gums

If you see these, it might be an advanced form of the infection. A root canal might be your only option to prevent the infection from spreading.

Schedule a Visit to the Dentist

Identifying these warning signs are best left to a professional, and your dentist will always carefully weigh the options with you. If you or a loved one might be in need of a root canal, schedule an appointment today.