Definition of Root Canal
A root canal can be described as a dental procedure that is performed to save a tooth when it is infected or when it has severely decayed. The procedure involves the removal of the tooth’s pulp and nerve and cleaning the tooth before sealing it. Without the procedure, a decayed or infected tooth will infect the tissue around it which can result to forming of abscesses.
Your tooth has natural cavities called root canals in its core. The pulp or pulp chamber and the tooth’s nerve can be found inside the root canal. The function of the tooth is not affected by its nerve, as the tooth continues to feel hot or cold and able to chew or crash food whether it has a nerve or not. For this reason, it is perfectly all right to remove the nerve from the tooth to save it.
Infection and Abscesses
A damage to the pulp or nerve tissue allows bacteria to infest the pulp chamber, which causes abscesses (pockets of pus) and infection. If a root canal has been infected, it can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root. The infection can also tear a hole in the tooth. Swelling that spreads to the neck, face, or head may happen when an infected root canal is left untreated.
When Do You Need a Root Canal?
A root canal procedure or treatment is an alternative to tooth extraction when the tooth is infected or has severely decayed. An infected or decayed tooth produces the following symptoms:
- A toothache that is very painful, especially when chewing or when pressure is applied
- Consistent feeling of pain or sensitivity to both hot and cold temperatures.
- The tooth changing color over time
- Swelling of gums
- Recurring pimple-like bumps on gums
When the rout canals in your tooth have been infected, you will experience extreme pain. And, if you don’t get treatment immediately, the infection may spread. As mentioned, a dentist can perform a root canal treatment to save your tooth. You may choose to have the tooth extracted, but a missing tooth may affect the alignment of your teeth. You may need a dental bridge put in place soon after you have your tooth extracted. If you have the symptoms mentioned above, you should go to a dentist immediately. The dentist will provide you treatment options that are suitable to your dental problem.