Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 6-07-2022
Have you recently developed a heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods? Are you experiencing excruciating pain in one or some of your teeth? Is there swelling in your cheek or jaw due to inflammation in your gums? If you notice these symptoms, you might need root canal therapy to treat the infection in your tooth.
Root canal therapy is necessary to treat root canal infection, but misconceptions about this procedure may cause many patients to avoid or delay the treatment altogether. This article highlights why you might need a root canal treatment and will disperse every concern you might have on the subject.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy belongs to a section of dentistry that concerns itself with the treatment of an infected pulp in a tooth without the removal of that tooth. This therapy eases any discomfort caused by infected nerves and tissues in the pulp of your teeth.
Each tooth has two regions - the crown and the root. The root contains different nerve cells and tissues that provide nutrients to the tooth and sustain the life of the tooth. These tissues can become infected from untreated cavities, chipped teeth, or exposure to the pulp during drilling.
Root canal therapy involves the removal of bacteria-infected nerves and tissues, cleaning and disinfection of your teeth to get rid of any pus, and sealing the hole with a latex material to stop additional bacterial infections. A partial crown restores your tooth’s shape after removing all infections.
Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection
Many people lack basic knowledge of root canal infection, so the symptoms go unnoticed, and the disease goes untreated. Educating yourself on the signs of a root canal infection will help determine if you need root canal therapy to ensure that you nip the infection in the bud before it spreads.
Some root canal infection symptoms include:
1. Pain radiating through the jaw bone
Root canal infections can spread deeply into the root of your teeth, reaching the bones beneath that root and causing great pain along the jaws of your teeth. Typically, patients with root canal infection cannot identify the tooth hurting since the pain spreads throughout the jaw.
2. Heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods
Another symptom that you might suffer from a root canal is that your infected tooth becomes overly sensitive to hot or cold foods. You might notice that chewing hot food causes pain, but cold foods ease the pain. This pain results from inflammation in the nerves surrounding that tooth.
3. Swelling or pus at the gums
If you have noticed swelling in your gums accompanied by pus, there is a high chance you might be suffering from a root canal infection. With this symptom, removal of the pus will usually provide temporary relief of the pain, but this relief does not mean the infection is gone. You should see your dentist and get the infection cleaned out.
Why You Might Need Root Canal Therapy
Although root canal therapy is not the only option available to treat root canal infection, we have highlighted a few reasons why we believe this procedure is the best option for you.
1. The surest way to ensure teeth safety
Root canal therapy ensures that your teeth are safe, healthy, and in place. Contrary to common opinion, a root canal treatment does not remove all the cells, nerves, and tissues connected to the tooth, as that would kill the tooth. Root canal therapy removes only contaminated tissues.
During root canal therapy, using a file, all infections in the tooth are sucked out and replaced with a rubbery material. After this procedure, your tooth remains healthy and can function optimally.
2. An excellent alternative to permanently removing your tooth
With the severe discomfort caused by root canal infections, you may believe removing the tooth is the best option. However, this is untrue because permanent tooth removal costs more, leading to more dental visits. You can complete root canal therapy in one appointment, and thus, you do not need to keep returning to the dentist for follow-up procedures.
Additionally, you risk disfiguring your dentures with a tooth removal as the surrounding teeth will close in and occupy the space left by the removed tooth. You do not need to worry about misshapen teeth with root canal therapy, as the procedure is clear-cut.
3. Solves jaw problems
Due to how deeply the root canal infection grows, you might begin to experience jaw problems as a result of the pain from the inflammation. You will experience difficulty in biting down on food and chewing food. You will probably need to stop using that portion of your jaw that spreads the pain.
It would help if you got rid of the infection through root canal therapy as soon as possible to relieve your pain and discomfort and restore the health of your teeth.
4. Reduces the potential spread of infections
As with most infections, there is every possibility of spreading if you do not remove the source of infection in time. Delaying a root canal procedure can harm your teeth, increasing the chance of a further spread.
The spread of this infection will come with excruciating pains, and you might lose a couple of teeth, which is why root canal therapy is the best bet.
How to Prevent Root Canal Infection With Root Canal Therapy
Prioritizing your oral health is the best way to prevent bacteria buildup from leading to infections in your tooth. Engaging in good oral hygiene practices such as flossing, brushing and visiting your dentists regularly, and eating the right foods are a few ways to prevent root canal infections. Most importantly, root canal therapy will do its job.
If you are considering root canal therapy in Milton, our team of experienced dentists at Milltown dental are knowledgeable and qualified to ensure that there are no complications during and after this procedure.