There’s never a good time for toothache to strike. But when it does, you may wonder whether you need a simple filling or a root canal treatment.
While any dental problems need addressing quickly, this is never more true than when it comes to root canal infections. Without prompt treatment, you may lose the affected tooth or worse. Because infections spread, this is a problem that can’t be ignored.
But what are the signs of an infected root canal?
Here’s everything you need to know about root canal infections and the treatment to address them.
Each tooth has a crown and root. Your molars, the wider teeth at the back of your mouth used for chewing, can have more roots. Beneath the layers of enamel and dentine that make up the outer shell of your tooth, there is the pulp chamber. It’s here that the living cells or “dental pulp” is found.
The root canal system carries this dental pulp into the tooth’s root.
A root canal infection occurs when bacteria enter your tooth through a small opening in the enamel. Such openings are often caused by tooth decay — acid erosion brought about when plaque bacteria feed on sugar in your diet. In some cases, these openings are caused by trauma.
Once the bacteria are inside the tooth, they infect the dental pulp. As the pulp contains nerve endings, this type of infection is particularly painful.
When tooth decay causes cavities, you’ll feel some sensitivity and pain around the area. But how does the pain associated with root canal infections feel?
When your dental pulp becomes inflamed, you’ll experience pain and sensitivity whenever you eat or drink anything cold or hot. Whenever you bite or chew, the affected tooth will hurt. Your tooth may also feel loose.
But these symptoms will eventually go away on their own. It’s important to note that if this happens, it’s not a good thing. It means the pulp has died. Not only this, but the infection will continue spreading.
Eventually, the pain and sensitivity in the tooth will return. You’ll notice increased swelling in the nearby gum, jaw, and cheek, you may have pus oozing from the tooth, and the affected tooth may turn black.
Because cavities can lead to root canal infections, you should see us whenever you have a toothache.
A root canal treatment involves removing all of the infected matter from inside your tooth. Before treatment, we’ll give you an anaesthetic so you won’t feel anything in the area. Once we’ve cleared out the bacteria, we’ll fill the area with gutta-percha, a natural latex-like substance.
After we’ve finished, we’ll close the hole in your tooth with a filling. Sometimes, we’ll suggest returning to have a crown placed another day.
Say the words “root canal treatment” to lots of people, and they immediately feel afraid. But this type of treatment isn’t as scary as people think. We’ll give you an anaesthetic to help manage any pain.
The infection itself will cause considerably more pain than the treatment, and if left untreated, the pain will only worsen. After treatment, any pain associated with the infection will go away.
If you’re experiencing a toothache, don’t wait around; get it treated quickly. We use the latest technology to assess whether you have a root canal infection, and our treatment techniques are reliable.
Call today to schedule your appointment.Back to Blog
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