When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or dies, root canal treatment is necessary to save the tooth. It is generally a comfortable treatment that can save your tooth and keep your mouth healthy.
Symptoms of infection
You may realize that you have an infected tooth when:
- the tooth is sensitive to hot or cold.
- the tooth hurts with biting or pressure.
- there is throbbing, severe tooth pain.
- the area is swollen.
- you have a bad taste in your mouth.
Causes of infection
The pulp becomes infected when bacteria invades the inner layers of the tooth. The tooth pulp is a soft tissue made up of nerves and blood vessels. It is contained in the pulp chamber that extends from the middle of the tooth down through the tooth roots.
Infection occurs most commonly through a deep cavity that allows bacteria through the enamel and dentin layers and into the pulp. Sometimes the pulp simply dies due to a fracture or a blow to the tooth.
Diagnosis and treatment
To determine if your tooth has an infected pulp, we do a thorough examination. The exam often includes x-rays and sometimes includes checking the health of the pulp with a pulp tester. We may also apply heat or cold, tap lightly on the tooth to see if it is sensitive, look for changes in the toothâ€™s color, or press gently on the gums next to the tooth to check for pain.
If we determine that you have an infected tooth, Dr Amod will discuss your case personally with you and motivate her reasons for a root canal therapy in order to save the tooth. It is important to treat an infected tooth in order to prevent the infection from traveling through the root tips and causing a painful abscess in the jawbone.
Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits.