Tooth pain can be excruciating. Whether the pain is due to a blow to the mouth or a deep cavity, the dental nerves are responsible for the uncomfortable sensation. Sometimes, the pain may resolve as the tooth heals. In other instances, the damage to the nerves is irreparable, and the only way to alleviate the discomfort is by removing the tooth or performing a root canal procedure.
Here is a bit of information about a root canal procedure and signs that indicate you may need the treatment.
How Is a Root Canal Performed?
Your dentist performs a root canal procedure by removing the pulp from the tooth. The pulp is the deepest layer of tooth material. It contains the nerves of the tooth. When a deep cavity develops or trauma causes a crack to form in the tooth material, bacteria may invade the pulp. The resulting infection can inflame the nerves, causing dental pain.
To conduct a root canal, the dentist drills a hole in the tooth and extracts the pulp. The resulting hollowed canals of the tooth are cleaned and disinfected. The dentist then fills the tooth's interior and covers the tooth with a dental cap.
How Do You Know That a Root Canal Is Needed?
Tooth pain that persists is often a sign that you need a root canal. However, there can be other symptoms, as well, including:
- Excessive sensitivity to cold and heat. Inflamed dental nerves may be overly sensitive to changes in temperature.
- Dental discoloration. The tooth may appear darker if the pulp dies or the tooth has become infected.
- Gingival swelling. The gums may become discolored from inflammation due to a nearby infection in a tooth or proximity to dead pulp tissue.
- Pain when pressure is applied to a tooth. Sensitivity to pressure may result from an inflamed dental nerve.
- A cracked tooth. When a tooth is chipped or cracked, bacteria may access the inner layers of the tooth to cause an infection.
- A wobbly tooth. A tooth may become wobbly as acidic waste from deceased pulp softens the jawbone that supports the dying tooth.
Although the presentation of one of these symptoms may indicate the need for a root canal. Some of the symptoms may be caused by other dental issues. A dentist can determine the best course of treatment after evaluating the tooth.
If you are currently suffering from dental discomfort, schedule a consultation with a dentist to plan for a root canal procedure.