How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

General & Cosmetic Dentists Serving Omaha, Bellevue, Lincoln and Nearby Nebraska

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Posted: April 4, 2022
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Man holding his jaw tooth painMany patients who visit us with toothaches are quick to ask our dentists if they will need a root canal. While toothaches can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and in some cases extremely painful, they do not always indicate the need for root canal therapy. In fact, there are a variety of other conditions that might be causing this pain. And some of them are quite simple to address. 

At The Dentists of Omaha, we encourage any patient who is experiencing a toothache to schedule an appointment. It is important to determine the cause and treat it promptly.

Why Does My Tooth Hurt?

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing a toothache, and not all of these issues need treatment with root canal therapy. Let’s consider some of the other reasons why a toothache might develop and how it can be addressed:

  • Infographic common causes of a toothacheFood trapped between the teeth or in the gums. Food can easily get stuck between the teeth and contribute to discomfort. This is especially true with certain pesky food items, such as popcorn pieces, that can sometimes wedge between teeth and inflame the surrounding gum tissues. Flossing might help treat the problem without a dental visit.
  • Cavities. A cavity, or tooth decay, may result in increased tooth sensitivity. Cavities are often repaired with dental fillings made from a material called composite resin. Filling the cavity can significantly reduce discomfort and protect the tooth from more damage.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth. When damage occurs to the tooth structure, it can cause sensitivity ranging from mild discomfort to severe toothache. Chipped and cracked teeth can be repaired to provide pain relief and restore the appearance of your beautiful smile.
  • Enamel erosion. When the natural enamel of a tooth is eroded, it can increase sensitivity. Patients might experience a toothache when enjoying extremely hot or extremely cold foods and beverages. If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from speaking to your dental team about treatments that can help your mouth feel much more comfortable.

Emergency Dental Services in Omaha

Tooth pain can constitute a dental emergency. Contact one of our four office locations to schedule your visit: Hillsborough: 402-445-4647, Village Pointe: 402-505-7474, Ralston Square: 402-733-4441, or Dundee: 402-502-5593. We can often accommodate same-day appointments.

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