Most people shudder at the combination of the words “root” and “canal,” but contrary to popular belief, a root canal treatment is quite painless. Having a toothache can ruin even the sunniest of days, but knowing that fixing the problem is effective, safe, and pain free can put your mind at ease.

When does someone need a root canal treatment and how does it help?

Under the enamel and dentin inside the tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. This particular part of the tooth contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves that help the root during development.

A root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp of the tooth is affected, the tooth is cracked, deep cavities, repeated tooth treatment, or trauma occurs. When a tooth is severely decayed or becomes infected the pulp and nerve must be removed and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Without this treatment the tissue surrounding the tooth is in danger of becoming infected and will often lead to the formation of an abscess.

Why does the pulp need to be removed?

Bacteria begins to multiply inside the pulp chamber when a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged. Infection inside the root canal of a tooth can cause:

  • Abscessed tooth
  • Swelling, which can spread to other areas of the head, face, or neck
  • Holes in the tooth may form and cause drainage problems extending outward from the root and into the cheek

What can cause damage to the pulp or nerve?

When deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, chip or cracks in the tooth, large fillings, or trauma to the face occurs the tooths nerve and pulp can become inflamed, infected, or irritated.

What are the signs that a root canal is needed?

Often there aren’t any symptom. However, some that may show themselves are:

  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
  • Tenderness or swelling of the gums
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, especially after the hot or cold has been removed
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Severe pain while chewing or when pressure is applied

What to expect after a root canal procedure

Due to natural tissue inflammation the tooth may feel sensitive. Any sensitivity or discomfort can usually be controlled by over-the-counter pain medications. Most patients are back to their normal daily activities the following day.

Root canal treatments have more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed by this procedure can last a lifetime.

Normal oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing each day should continue to be a part of your daily routine. This should also involve regular dental visits. Don’t let the pain of a tooth in need of a root canal ruin your day. Call us today and start the process of getting your tooth fixed and rid yourself of any pain or discomfort.