The root canal is present at the center of every tooth (the innermost layer) and houses the dental pulp. The pulp is composed of the blood vessels that nourish the tooth and the nerves that provide sensation to it. But, when the pulp gets infected due to the microbes in the mouth, it can put the whole tooth at risk of being extracted. It is called a root canal infection.
What are the symptoms of root canal infection?
- Patients with root canal infection usually go through a lot of pain while biting and chewing food. Even brushing and flossing the teeth can be quite painful.
- The infected tooth could become extremely sensitive to hot and cold foods. It can be felt as a sharp sensation in a particular tooth rather than all the teeth.
- Release of pus from the gums near the infected tooth. Sometimes, the gums would bleed as well.
- When the infection is left untreated for a long time, it could spread to the nearby teeth and gums as well. Over time, it may affect the underlying jawbone and lead to bone deterioration.
- Due to jawbone deterioration, the infected tooth could loosen from its socket. In extreme cases, there could be tooth loss.
What causes root canal infection?
- External trauma:The teeth could crack or chip when you sustain external oral trauma. Due to this, the tooth can develop root canal infection when the microbes gain access to it. This is especially possible if you do not get the tooth restored using a crown.
- Cavities:The leading cause of root canal infection is tooth decay. The microbes could decay the deeper layers of the tooth over time and infect the pulp as well.
- Gum diseases:Gingivitis and periodontitis are major oral diseases that affect soft gum tissues. They can upset your oral health to a severe extent and gradually lead to root canal infection if not addressed at the right time.
How can root canal infection be treated?
- An endodontist is a dentist who specifically treats root canal infection and any condition related to the dental pulp. A root canal therapy is often the last resort treatment method to prevent a tooth from being extracted due to the infection. Hence, it holds a lot of prominence in the world of dentistry.
- During the initial appointment, we will carefully screen the teeth and take x-rays of the mouth. This helps us analyze the structure of the jawbone and the extent of the decay within the root canal cavity. Next, you will be prepared for the treatment procedure. The teeth will be cleaned to remove microbes from around the infected tooth.
- Local anesthesia is administered to the gums to keep you from enduring pain and discomfort during the procedure. A tiny hole is made on the infected tooth using high-precision dental instruments. The dentist will use special dental files to remove the contaminated pulp from the root canal. Also, the cavity's walls will be scrubbed to remove the microbes attached to them. They will be washed off with a jet of water.
- After the treatment, the tooth tends to gradually weaken due to a lack of nutrition. This can cause the tooth to crumble under high forces, such as when you bite or chew food. Hence, we recommend restoring the tooth using a dental crown. This ensures your tooth is kept intact.
Please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us at (408) 730-2475, and we'll guide you further.