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How To Know If You Need A Root Canal Or A Tooth Filling?

Fillings and root canals are common responses to tooth decay. But how do you know if you need one of these treatments? Here are some of the signs that you should look out for.

Tooth Pain

One of the most common warning signs that something is wrong is tooth pain. Sometimes, it will feel like a constant, throbbing pain. At other times, it will depend on the type of food you are eating. For example, drinking cold water or chewing can cause you to feel tooth sensitivity. It’s possible that this pain can last for hours, or days after you have consumed the food or drink.

Problems In The Gums

Your gums play a vital role in oral health. Because of this, if you start to notice gum problems, it can indicate issues with the underlying teeth. There are a few things to pay particular attention to. First, you might feel a small fistula. This is about the same size as a pimple and might be painful. This is a sign that you might have a tooth infection.

Another potential warning sign is a swollen gum, which is painful to the touch. This can sometimes occur after brushing your teeth too hard. But the pain will be temporary, often only lasting for a few minutes. If your swollen gum lasts longer, it could be a sign of an infected tooth.

Thirdly, you might notice that parts of your gum have become darker. This is a sign of tooth decay.

Damage To The Tooth

You might have chipped or broken a tooth. At other times, a filling you had might have fallen out. This type of damage has the potential to damage your oral health, as bacteria can get into the cracks. Over time, this can lead to gum disease.

Black Spots On Your Teeth

You might notice a black spot on your teeth. This is caused by a small cavity. Sometimes, you will experience pain and sensitivity around this tooth.


A dentist will need to use an X-ray to identify this issue. Abscesses will appear as a dark spot, where no bone is growing. This occurs because the bone won’t grow in the area around an infected tooth. Furthermore, this pocket will fill with pus, due to the infection. You will need to visit the dentist to safely drain the pus. Depending on the severity of the problem, they might also need to remove and replace the tooth.

Which Procedure Will You Need?

If you have one of these issues, it’s a good idea to talk to your Hornsby dentist. They will be able to investigate the issue and determine the extent of the damage. If the dentist can spot the issue early, they will be able to treat it with a filling. But if you put off seeing the dentist and the symptoms get worse, they might need to do a root canal.


There are a few warning signs that you might have a problem with your teeth. Most commonly, this will manifest as tooth pain or gum sensitivity. If you spot one of these symptoms, it’s worth getting your dentist to check it out. Early intervention can save you a lot of money and eliminate the need for a root canal.


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