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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.


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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Signs That Your Should Speak To Your Dentist About A Root Canal

by April Myers

Root canals are important and necessary treatments that clean out the inner part of the tooth due to infection or injury. And while your dentist will typically inform you that you need a root canal due to evidence of an infection on x-ray imagery, there are some situations where you will notice a problem at home. There are a few signs that indicate that a root canal might be necessary. Find out what they are.

Gray-Looking Tooth

If you notice that one of your teeth suddenly appears gray or yellow, then this may be a sign that you need a root canal in the future. This sort of discoloration happens for a few different reasons. It happens when the internal tooth tissues die and these tissues take on a dark appearance. The dark coloring can then be seen through the translucent dental enamel. 

The discoloration is also a result of poor tooth nutrition. The tooth pulp and its abundant blood supply help to provide the tooth with nutrition and fluids. As the pulp starts to die off, it does not receive the nutrients any longer. The tooth then dries out, and this can create a more yellow or gray tone. 

While some teeth are a bit more porous and may collect more stains than others, an infected tooth will appear discolored out of the blue. And the color will be much different from the other teeth, even ones with more substantial stains. 

If you notice concerning discoloration, your dentist can x-ray the tooth. This is the only way to determine if the discoloration is really caused by dying or dead pulp or another issue.

Wiggly Tooth

If you notice that one tooth shifts and moves when pressure is placed on it, then this may be a sign of an infection. The problem will occur due to swelling. Inflammation occurs along the gum tissue as well as the periodontal ligament that holds the tooth in place. Mobility is also caused by the death of the tooth root. As this root dies, acidic waste products release from the tooth and come into contact with the jaw bone. The acids can eat away at the tissue, causing the tooth to loosen a bit.

In addition to the loose tooth, you are likely to see some reddening of the gums, and you may see a small bump near the tooth. The bump is an abscess that may be forming due to infectious materials escaping from the tooth.