If you need a root canal, it is best to get the procedure done right away and not allow the problem to get worse by putting it off. However, some people may not even know they need the procedure. Being aware of the causes of the problem, the symptoms, and what can be done about it are important for prevention and early response that may prevent an emergency.
Why You Might Need a Root Canal
Root canal procedures are usually necessary when the soft tissue inside of the root canal, which is called pulp, becomes inflamed or infected. Inflammation and infection of this area of your mouth could happen for several different reasons, like a cavity that has been decaying for too long and has entered the pulp chamber. The bacteria can get inside and cause a need for this procedure. A lot of people find that they need a root canal after they have some type of trauma to their tooth. If your tooth cracks or breaks, this trauma can expose the pulp chamber and lead to nerve damage or decay. Essentially, root canals are needed when you have an infected tooth and infected nerves.
Symptoms Indicative of a Root Canal
It's good to be aware of the symptoms that accompany an infection that would call for a root canal procedure. One obvious symptom is severe pain, especially after eating. This is a huge indication of an infected tooth. If you eat a cold or hot beverage and your tooth or teeth are irritated a lot longer than seems normal, this could also point to a possible infection. A few other symptoms to pay attention to include: swollen, discolored, or painful gums surrounding a certain tooth or group of teeth, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Why You Should Seek Treatment
If you do not take care of an infected tooth, the problem doesn't resolve itself and it can get much worse. Neglected infections can lead to abscesses, which are pockets of pus beneath infected teeth. Sometimes removal of these leads to loss of the tooth entirely. A neglected abscess can even be life-threatening. If ignored and allowed to become severe, the need for a root canal can also lead to bone loss. Being proactive with regular dental cleanings, caring for your teeth daily, and making an appointment if you suspect the need for a root canal are the best way to avoid these emergency situations.
The Root Canal Procedure
The root canal procedure has a reputation for being very painful and unpleasant, but this isn't necessarily the case. Dentists use anesthetics to numb the area, making the procedure more bearable than people realize. They then drill a hole into the tooth so that they may remove the infection in the canal. Once this is done, the canal is filled, sealed, and a crown is put on top. There may be a bit of soreness for a few days after the surgery, but you’ll feel relief compared to the throbbing pain of infection.
For more information about root canals or the other dental services we have to offer, contact Castlebury Dental today.