The root canal is a chamber inside your tooth that houses the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and connective tissue that keep your tooth alive. Unfortunately, sometimes these soft tissues become inflamed or infected. If you experience any symptoms that indicate you might be having problems in your root canal, you should consult with your dentist.
Symptoms of Root Canal Issues
Under normal circumstances, the pulp, or the soft tissues inside your tooth, is protected by the hard outer layers of dentin and enamel. However, if the hard layers are compromised, bacteria can find its way into the tooth’s interior. This can lead to infection of the tooth pulp. Infection of this kind usually requires root canal treatment.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might need to talk to your dentist about root canal therapy:
- Persistent severe toothache
- Extreme sensitivity
- A tooth that has turned brown or black
- Swelling around the tooth or other symptoms of infection
Root canal therapy can be used to remove the infection from the inside of the tooth. Without this treatment, the only way to prevent the infection from spreading is to remove the tooth.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy removes all the infected tissue from the tooth’s interior. First, a hole is drilled in the tooth to allow access to the pulp. Then special files are used to remove all the soft tissue, including the nerves that serve the tooth. This will ensure all the infected tissue is gone so the infection will not travel to other teeth or into facial bones or sinuses. The root canal cavity is then filled, and the tooth is fitted with a dental crown.
Teeth that require root canal treatment generally have experienced severe damage or decay. This damage allows bacteria to enter the tooth, causing infection. If the tooth is not treated, the infection can spread, which can lead to potentially serious complications. If you suspect your tooth is infected and could be in need of a root canal, consult our dentist to determine the proper course of treatment.