This three-part article series takes an in-depth look at root canal therapy: what it is, why it’s necessary and what patients can expect from the procedure.
Welcome back to our three-part article series on root canal therapy. In our previous article post, the first installment of the series, we spoke to a qualified and experienced dentist in Silver Spring Maryland about what root canal or endodontic therapy is and why it’s sometimes necessary. In Part 2, we’ll delve a little deeper into the subject and find out what can cause the insides of a tooth to become infected and what the signs and symptoms of such an affliction are.
What Necessitates Root Canal Therapy?
When bacteria break through the protective enamel covering a tooth, they begin colonizing the soft tissue inside the pulp chamber. Because there is no way for standard hygienic measures, such as brushing and flossing, to eliminate bacteria and their toxic by-products from inside the tooth, they begin to accumulate unchecked. This inflames the tissue, causes infection and can lead to the development of pus-filled pockets inside the tooth. An abscess left without treatment is not only excruciatingly painful, it can also have some severe health repercussions. Root canal therapy can be the only measure left for someone with an infected tooth. It’s that or tooth extraction!
So, what can cause bacteria to infiltrate your dental enamel?
• Poor oral hygiene leading to the development of cavities, which deepen to form a direct pathway into the heart of the tooth
• Deep decay,
• A chip or crack in the tooth as a result of accidental trauma,
• Repeated dental procedures, which expose the inner workings of the tooth.
How Do You Know if Your Tooth is Infected?
When the insides of a tooth become infected, you’ll know! The primary symptoms are severe toothache when eating or clenching your jaw and prolonged sensitivity to extremes in temperatures (when drinking a hot or cold beverage, for example). The pain is a result of the nerve, which resides inside the tooth. The tooth structure itself doesn’t contain any nerves, which is why it’s difficult to tell when you have a cavity or a crack in your tooth. But as soon as bacteria infiltrate the tooth and infect the pulp chamber, the nerve - whose primary function is sensory - becomes incredibly sensitive to pressure and temperature.
Other signs you may require root canal therapy include:
• Swelling and sensitivity of the surrounding gum tissue,
• Discoloration of the tooth,
• A recurring pimple on the gums, which is a sign that an abscess has developed.
Having said all this, in some cases, there are no signs and symptoms present, which highlights the importance of going for regularly scheduled appointments with the dentist in Silver Spring, Maryland. Only a trained and experienced eye will recognize the signs of infection and decay and, should treatment be provided in time, be able to save the tooth from extraction.
Stay Tuned for Part 3
Stay tuned for the final installment of this three-part article series on root canal therapy. In our next article, the Silver Spring dentist will discuss in detail what is involved in the root canal procedure, as well as why its always preferable to choose a simple tooth extraction and replacement.