A root canal infection can pose serious risks to your oral health resulting in several uncomfortable situations, for example, where multiple teeth can become infected, it leads to further decay to the roots of your teeth. In this eventuality, a root canal procedure would be required.
Are your teeth showing signs of a root canal infection?
Learn about the symptoms, causes and available treatments so you can act today.
What Is A Root Canal Infection?
A root canal infection forms because of tooth decay or trauma. Harmful bacteria begin to penetrate the roots of your teeth and down to the tissue, called the pulp. The pulp contains nerves and vessels for teeth to grow. The pulp supports the healthy growth of your teeth until they’ve fully erupted. The only time a root canal would be necessary is if bacteria have penetrated.
When the pulp is infected, the bacteria can spread rapidly, causing something called a dental abscess. Eventually, if you do not consult the dentist in an emergency, the infection will become worse, and you’ll eventually require tooth extraction treatment.
You might also be interested in learning Root Canal VS tooth extraction: What is better for you.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Root Canal Infection?
Root canal infection can cause severe discomfort, especially if the infection continues to progress without any treatment from the dentist. Eventually, the gums can become inflamed as well.
Here are some of the common symptoms of a root canal infection which will require another trip to the dentist:
- Severe or throbbing pain, particularly when you use the mouth when you eat. The pain can become unbearable when you’re biting down on food, or if the tooth is exposed to extreme temperatures
- Discoloured pus, a liquid that comprises dead white blood cells forming when the body’s immune system attempts to fight off the infection
- Bad breath in the mouth owing to the infected tissue.
- Swollen tissue underneath the gums, which penetrates your face and neck too, causing severe discomfort
The infection can spread to other teeth if it’s not seen by the dentist as soon as possible. The infection may potentially penetrate the bloodstream as well.
What Are The Causes Of A Root Canal Infection?
There are two particular causes of a root canal infection. The first sign is you’re not taking good care of your teeth through strong oral hygiene. A lack of teeth cleaning causes the bacteria to build and break down into decay, exposing the pulp to bacteria.
The second sign is that you’re looking after your teeth appropriately, but the bacteria seeps through due to an accident, causing trauma. For example, your tooth comes into contact with a hard object, causing the tooth to crack. The impact can be significant enough to damage the pulp, causing the nerves to die inside.
What Happens At A Root Canal Appointment?
To treat a root canal infection, the dentist will specifically form the following:
- Take an X-ray of the infected tooth to search for infected tissue
- Apply local anaesthesia to numb the affected area
- Place a dam around the mouth to protect your gums
- Create a hole at the top of the tooth to access the root so the infected pulp gets cleaned. This includes removing any excess tooth debris. The older filling material will also be cleared.
- The root canal is then filled using a latex-based polymer filler
- The tooth is then protected using temporary filling material to seal the tooth and allow for infection healing
- The permanent crown is then placed over the tooth to complete the treatment
Book Yourself In For A Root Canal
If you’re noticing any of these symptoms which signify a root canal infection, you should contact the dentist immediately for root canal treatment. The further you leave it, the worse the infection can get, spreading to your other teeth and introducing severe decay.
Don’t leave it to chance, contact your dentist as soon as you can. If you live around Pennant Hills and surrounding areas, you can contact our Pennant Hills Dentist for your root canal treatment.