Are you experiencing discomfort or pain in one of your teeth? Is it particularly intense when you eat something cold, hot, or sweet? Have you recently noticed some sensitivity to biting down on something? Perhaps what’s going on is that you need a root canal. This type of dental procedure can be intimidating if you need help understanding why it’s needed in the first place. This blog post will explain all there is to know about root canals so that you are well-informed and have peace of mind should your dentist decide this treatment is necessary for your optimal oral health.
Definition of Root Canal
A root canal is a dental treatment that removes infected pulp from within the tooth and replaces it with a filling material. This process helps save and protect the tooth’s structural integrity, which is important in maintaining oral health. During a root canal, an opening is made through the tooth’s enamel layer to remove the diseased pulp. Over time, bacteria in the mouth can penetrate into a cracked or weakened tooth, leading to infection. Left untreated, this infection can spread and further damage other structures within and surrounding the mouth. A root canal helps to avoid this type of damage and serves as an effective way to reduce discomfort associated with infection caused by decay or trauma.
Causes of a Root Canal
Decay and Damage to Tooth Structure
The decay and damage of tooth structure can lead to a root canal, which is performed when the pulp and nerve of the tooth become infected or damaged. If left untreated, it can lead to pain and inflammation and potential infection within the gums, jawbone, and surrounding tissues. While most cases of tooth decay and damage respond well to a normal filling, some more serious cases may require a root canal procedure to completely remove the affected area from further harm.
Infection or Inflammation in Tooth Pulp
Many people dread the idea of a root canal due to the unpleasantness associated with them. However, they are necessary for those who experience an infection or inflammation in their tooth pulp. This infection and inflammation result from the presence of bacteria, which can feed on food particles in cavities, periodontal pockets and deep decay; this causes bacteria to get underneath the enamel and dentin layer of the tooth, eventually leading to an infection or inflammation within the pulp chamber. If left untreated, this bacteria-caused infection can cause pain and spread to surrounding tissues, leading to more serious problems such as abscesses which could lead to tooth loss. Accordingly, root canal therapy should be considered for anyone experiencing infected or inflamed tooth pulp symptoms.
Trauma to Teeth or Jaw
Trauma to teeth or jaw often results in a condition known as pulp necrosis, which occurs when the nerve tissue and blood vessel layers of the tooth become damaged. This type of injury commonly happens due to accidents involving a hard or sharp object impacting or damaging the tooth or jaw. It can also be caused by grinding teeth or clenching your jaw over an extended period. Symptoms may include severe toothache, eating difficulties, fever, and swollen facial areas at and around the affected tooth. If left untreated, pulp necrosis can result in a root canal if irreversible damage affects the dental pulp.
Symptoms of a Root Canal
Symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal include sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, persistent pain in your tooth, discolouration of the tooth, swelling in your gums near the affected area, and loss of gum tissue around the tooth. If you experience any of these signs, it is important to consult your dentist to schedule an examination and get treatment as soon as possible. Root canals help ensure your teeth stay healthy and usable long-term.
Root Canal Treatment at EDentist Canterbury
If you have questions about root canal treatment or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact EDentist Canterbury at Canterbury, VIC, Australia. We’d be happy to answer any of your questions and help get you on the road to recovery!