A root canal infection is one of the most serious and painful conditions of the teeth. All teeth contain a central cavity that is filled with the tooth pulp. It houses the blood vessels and nerves that provide the required nourishment to the teeth and helps with the sensation. Root canal infection involves the decay and inflammation of the tooth's pulp, causing extreme pain, hypersensitivity, and putting one's entire oral health at risk.
What causes root canal infection?
Cavities: Cavities are the primary cause of root canal infection. As the microbes in the mouth erode the enamel and gain access into the deeper layers of the tooth, the pulp stands a risk of being exposed to them. This occurs mostly when the cavity is left untreated for a long time.
External trauma: Though the enamel is quite a hard substance, it can crack or break under high impact forces or due to excessive wear. Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth can leave the pulp exposed to the bacteria, thereby potentially leading to a root canal infection.
Gum diseases: Gum diseases are caused due to the tartar deposits near the gum line, leading to the decay of gum tissues. When the gum disease isn't treated at the right time, it could advance to the root structures and the jawbone as well.
What are the symptoms?
- The infected tooth would be highly sensitive to hot or cold foods.
- Discharge of pus from the tooth and surrounding gums.
- Gradual jawbone deterioration.
- Loosening of the tooth from its socket.
- Extreme pain near the infected tooth, especially when you chew food or brush your teeth.
Root canal therapy is considered to be the last possible option to save a badly infected tooth. The dentist would screen the oral cavity and determine the severity of the condition. Before starting the procedure, the teeth will be prepared by a thorough cleaning. A rubber sheath will be placed on the infected tooth to isolate it from the rest. A tiny access hole will be made on the tooth to access the infected pulp and extract it.
After removing the pulp, the dentist would insert thin dental files into the cavity to scrub the walls of the root canal cavity. The debris will be washed out using a jet of water. After cleaning the root canal cavity thoroughly, the dentist will place some medication in the tooth and cover the hole using suitable filling material.
Since the pulp containing the blood vessels would be removed, the tooth wouldn't receive any sort of natural nourishment. Hence, it could become weak over time and even crumble when you bite or chew anything hard. In order to avoid this, a dental crown would be used to restore the tooth and prevent its failure.
Please do reach out to us on call or by scheduling an online consultation with our Dentist Orem, UT, and we'll be glad to assist you further.