What is root canal treatment?
The term “root canal” refers to the inner passages of the root situated between the tooth roots and the pulp. Root canal treatment on the other hand refers to the procedure of removing infected material and relieving root canal pain.
The root canal contains blood vessels and nerves. Once the the tooth has emerged from the gums (in the case of adults), the nerve of the tooth does not serve any particular purpose aside from sensing cold, heat, and other stimuli.
Removal of the nerve in the infected tooth is considered a standard procedure in the treatment of tooth pain caused by infection or decay in the tooth pulp.
What are the common causes of root canal pain?
Some of the most prevalent causes of root canal pain include:
- Decay – Tooth decay that penetrates the teeth’s outer layers can cause root canal pain.
- Disease – Infection of the tooth pulp has several risk factors including tooth trauma, tooth decay, large fillings, recent dental procedures, and chips or cracks in the teeth. If the cause of the teeth pain is significant infection or decay in the tooth pulp, root canal treatment may be recommended.
- Damage – Chips or cracks in the teeth may cause root canal pain and tooth decay.
What are some of the symptoms that indicate you need root canal treatment?
How exactly do you know if you need root canal treatment? Below are some of the most common signs to look out for:
Understandably, severe and persistent pain is one of the primary indicators that signal something is wrong with the root of your tooth. If you experience severe pain doing normal activities like drinking or eating, consider that your cue to see your dentist right away.
Typically, your dentist will examine the affected tooth to see if the nerves or blood vessels have become inflamed due to infection. In most cases, root canal is performed to ease the pain.
Cracked or chipped tooth
Cracking or chipping of the tooth can result from eating hard foods, trauma from contact sports, or from dental procedures that have gone awry. When the tooth gets chipped or cracked, the nerves can get exposed and infected.
Unfortunately, an infection in the root of the tooth can enter the bloodstream and spread when left unattended. That being said, a root canal might be recommended to ease the pain and prevent the infection from spreading.
Sensitivity to heat or cold
Yet another prevalent sign that you need root canal treatment is tooth sensitivity. Usually, patients will experience a dull ache which will eventually progress into sharp and intense pain.
Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain and sensitivity for those with an infected tooth. When sensitivity becomes prevalent and unbearable, root canal treatment might be recommended.
Over to you
If you think you have a dental issue that can be fixed with root canal treatment, you need not worry. Nowadays, root canal treatments are very common and can be performed without any pain.
While minor sensitivity and aches are reported after the anaesthetic wears off, it is reassuring to know the small discomforts will eventually subside in just a couple of weeks.