Do you have severe tooth pain? Perhaps your discomfort is persistent and nagging. You might also experience sharp pains when you bite down on food. When a person experiences tooth pain, it should never be ignored. Dental discomfort is a sign that something is wrong and in the case of toothaches, it can signify the need for root canal therapy. When teeth are deeply affected by injury or caries, root canal therapy can literally save the tooth from needing to be surgically removed. Timely treatment for tooth pain is imperative to saving a tooth.
Why Root Canal Therapy is Needed
Sometimes a dental injury or cavity can reach the innermost structures of a tooth. Inside the tooth is the root canal, a chambered area that holds the nerve ending of the root system along with cellular matter called dental pulp. The root canal is normally protected against the debris and bacteria the float in the mouth. However, when a tooth is unhealthy, the root canal can become exposed to debris and bacteria. This exposure can infect the contents of the root canal, which will cause pain since nerve endings are involved.
When the root canal is infected and if treatment is not received quickly enough, patients could risk losing their tooth because the infection can develop into an abscess. An abscess is an infection that affects the root system of a tooth and spreads to neighboring tissue like bone and gums. This infection can kill a tooth and affect the entire oral health system.
What Root Canal Treatment Involves
Root canal therapy is an endodontic treatment. This procedure involves accessing the root canal through the base of where a tooth is damaged or decayed. Using very tiny instruments, the root canal is opened and its infected contents are removed. Then, the root canal is cleaned and sealed to provide protection for the tooth. After treatment, the pain associated with an infected root canal will subside because the nerve endings are no longer there. Sometimes, a restoration like a dental crown or inlay is needed to protect the external structure of a tooth.
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