Relieve Persistent Tooth Pain with Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is also known as endodontics, and it treats problems of the soft pulp, or nerve tissue, inside the tooth. Root canals, while they get a bad rap for being painful procedures, are actually designed to relieve tooth pain and are no more unpleasant than getting a filling. How do you know if you need a root canal? If the pulp tissue of the tooth has become infected or inflamed, you may need root canal treatment.
You may feel pain in your tooth because that pulp tissue contains sensitive blood vessels, connective tissue and nerve cells. If you let the issue go, the pain may subside, then come back, then subside; however, the underlying infection is always there. If you do nothing, that bacteria can infect other systems in your body.
A natural tooth that undergoes root canal treatment and restoration can also prevent the need to remove the tooth later on. Other problems you can prevent with root canals include tooth shifting, the need for bridge work or dental implants, and bone loss.
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Constant pain, swelling, pressure and sensitivity in the gums are the main symptoms people experience. You may also feel a sharp pain when you bite down on hard foods such as apples, or you might feel sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods such as soup or ice cream. Get to a dentist immediately if these symptoms persist.
There are many reasons why you would need a root canal. One of those reasons is deep tooth decay. When untreated cavities are allowed to fester with bacteria, that bacteria can travel to the center of the tooth to infect the pulp tissue. Bacteria can also enter the pulp through a chipped or cracked tooth. In fact, any opening in the enamel can welcome bacteria in.
Another reason for root canals is via some kind of trauma, such as through a sports injury or car accident. It’s important to seek treatment right away so that the tooth can be saved. Another cause is actually dental work — a lot of it. For instance, when you have many fillings or restorations on the same tooth, you can do some lasting damage to the tooth that eventually requires a root canal.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Root canals are very similar to cavity fillings, in that an anesthetic is given to keep pain at bay. The dentist will then make a small opening in the surface of the tooth, where the dead pulp tissue is removed, and the chamber and empty canals are cleaned out. Next, the tooth is filled and sealed.
When you head home, you may feel sensitivity or tenderness, but over-the-counter pain relievers can help with this. You will have to come back for another visit later on to get a crown placed on the tooth to further protect it.
If you suspect you need a root canal due to constant pain, swelling and sensitivity, please call Redwood Dental at (800) 462-2222 for your appointment.