When you visit your dentist for routine exams and cleanings, they may have told you to limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Usually, your mouth has bacteria that feed on the sugars that we consume. If these bacteria grow out of control, they become harmful, producing acidic chemicals that erode the teeth’ enamel, causing cavities.
If not addressed, the bacterial infection spreads further, infecting the innermost structure of the teeth, called the pulp. The pulp contains blood veneers and nerves, which keep the teeth alive. When not addressed timely, the infection can spread further, damaging the entire tooth and even spreading to the nearby teeth, gums and eventually infecting the bone. The complications that follow can be life-threatening. Fortunately, your condition can be fixed before it ever gets to that point.
A pulp infection can be stopped and eliminated through root canal treatment. Root canal therapy involves removing the decay from the tooth’s pulp, disinfecting the tooth, and sealing the tooth to prevent re-infection. It would be impossible to save an infected or inflamed tooth without root canal treatment. If the tooth doesn’t respond to a root canal, the only solution is to extract it to prevent the infection from spreading.
If you have an infected tooth or your dentist has scheduled you for a root canal, here is what you can expect during a root canal procedure:
The dentist or orthodontist begins by injecting an anesthetic to make you comfortable during the procedure. Next, the dentist drills through the infected tooth to access the pulp chamber. Small files remove all the decayed and dead tissues. Next, the dentist rinses and disinfects the tooth with irrigation solutions to eliminate any remaining tissues and bacteria.
After removing the decayed tissues, there is a hollow area. The open space could also make the tooth vulnerable to further cavities and infections. The tooth is filled with a filling material to seal the canals so that doesn’t happen.
The tooth is still fragile and vulnerable to chipping or breaking even after filling. For more strength and protection, a dental crown covers the treated tooth.
After a root canal treatment, you might experience discomforts such as soreness which will subside after a little while. The dentist will likely prescribe some painkillers and antibiotics to manage any pain, swelling, or infection. Once the area heals, normal tooth functions such as chewing can resume.
Are you wondering whether you can need a root canal? You should visit a dentist near you for an exam to be sure. However, there are warnings signs that you can watch out for, including:
Severe and persistent tooth pain is often a sign that your tooth is infected. Tooth or jaw pain can also be caused by cavities, gum disease, damaged filling, impacted tooth, or sinus infection. Whatever the cause is, it’s a good idea to visit a dentist to have your tooth checked. Early diagnosis always leads to better outcomes. On the contrary, if you wait too long, the infection can worsen, leading to tooth loss and further complications.
If your tooth hurts when you apply pressure or eat hot or cold foods and drinks, it could mean that the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth’s pulp are infected or inflamed. You might need a root canal to remove the diseased tissues.
Tooth stains aren’t only a result of poor dental hygiene and consuming colored foods and beverages. When the internal tissues are infected or dead, certain chemicals are released, which gives the tooth a grayish-back appearance. A root canal is necessary to resolve the problem in such a case.
Swollen or sore gums often indicate a tooth infection or gum disease. When a tooth’s pulp is infected, the acidic wastes from dead tissues can cause the gums to feel sore or tender upon touch. A painful, pus-filled pimple, also known as an abscess, could mean you have a tooth infection and need a root canal.
A loose or weakened tooth can be a sign that your tooth is infected. While it can also be other problems such as periodontal disease, visiting your dentist will help determine whether you need a root canal or not.
Are you interested in root canal treatment? Contact York Dental Group for more information.
Our dentist in York Harbor, ME also welcomes patients from the below given nearby areas: