Our tooth is made of two basic parts - the crown and the root. A root canal cavity present in our tooth, consisting of the dental pulp, i.e., nerves and blood vessels, is protected by the layers of dentin and enamel. When the dental pulp could sometimes get unhealthy or infected because of decay or other stresses, it can cause a toothache, infection with swelling, and sensitivity to hot, cold, or pressure.
For treating this dental pain or infection caused by the inflamed or dead nerve, root canal therapy would be the last treatment option.
Root canal infection - Reasons
If you have a cavity or tooth decay you have been ignoring for long, the cavity could grow bigger, decaying the underlying dentin. Eventually, the microbes can reach the root canal cavity and infect the dental pulp. External trauma to the mouth resulting in broken, cracked, or chipped teeth, severe gum disease like periodontitis, etc., could also lead to a root canal infection.
Root canal infection - Symptoms
The symptoms for a root canal infection is as follows:
- If there is an infection in the dental pulp, the tooth tends to get discolored due to the decayed tissues inside.
- Applying pressure on the affected tooth by biting or chewing food can cause severe pain and discomfort.
- The gums near the infected tooth can become dull or red and can discharge pus or bleed.
- The jawbone underneath could deteriorate, leading to the tooth loosening from its socket and eventually fall off if left untreated.
The treatment for root canal infection focuses on removing the infected pulp from within the root canal cavity. An experienced dentist can do this either by making a hole in the tooth and manually extracting the decayed pulp or using an intense laser beam to eliminate the bacteria in the pulp and remove it. Thus, the walls of the cavity are cleaned, and an antibiotic medication is placed in it to prevent reinfection and growth of microbes in the root canal cavity. The hole will then be sealed off with a tooth-colored filling material.
It is recommended to restore the treated tooth with a dental crown as the tooth normally tends to get weakened after the procedure due to the removal of nerves and blood vessels).
Please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us at (209) 554-1700, and we’ll guide you further.