The most common sign of a tooth infection is sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks. Your tooth will hurt to the touch, you’ll feel throbbing pain and your face or gums may even swell up.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should head straight to your dentist’s office. These are all signs of an infection and/or nerve damage, both of which may require a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
Inside your tooth, underneath the enamel, and within the dentin, there is soft tissue teaming with blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. This area inside of your tooth is called your tooth’s pulp. When the pulp of your tooth has become infected with bacteria or diseased it can cause pain, swelling and sensitivity to hot and cold.
Root Canal Procedure
When this happens your dentist will recommend a root canal, a procedure where the pulp is completely removed all the way down to the tiny root canals of your tooth. Once all of the pulp is removed your dentist will fill the pulp chamber with a rubberlike filling to prevent recontamination. With no more pulp, the bacteria has nowhere to live thus you won’t experience any more pain.
To seal the deal, your dentist will likely recommend capping the root canal with a dental crown to reinforce and strengthen your weakened tooth. This will also help the aesthetic of your tooth so it will blend in with the rest of your teeth.
If a root canal is not performed the tooth will need to be extracted. An infected tooth that is left untreated can cause an abscess and/or life-threatening complications.
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