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Do I Need a Root Canal?

Elderly woman holding side of jaw in pain

Root canals can help save a tooth that’s badly infected and decaying, and for those with infected teeth, it can be a terrifying concept to imagine. However, dental technology has helped repair tooth trauma without the side effects of intense drilling and tooth extraction, and many dentists today can safely perform root canals by observing the infection with x-rays and removing pain by using anesthetics.

Root Canal vs. Root Canal Procedure

When dentists talk about the root canal, they can refer to either the procedure itself or the root canal area of the tooth. The root canal area refers to the inner chambers of pulp that contain the blood and nerve vessels that keep the tooth’s enamel and dentin alive and healthy. When the pulp becomes damaged, the nerves can lose their ability to sense heat and cold and cause the tooth to become more susceptible to fractures. Bacteria can grow within the pulp chamber, the tooth can become infected, causing an abscess, or a pus-filled socket, that can cause swelling to the face and gums, tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and persistent pimples along the gumline.

Root canals can become infected for multiple reasons. Most often, it’s caused by poor dental hygiene. Poor dental hygiene can cause infections, especially when the teeth have not been cleaned or flossed over a long time. Other factors can include a high sugary diet, caused by eating too many sweets, and a dry mouth, which can occur due to medications and old age.

The root canal procedure, on the other hand, can resolve those issues. Root canals help to preserve the tooth by removing the infected pulp, draining it of its abscess, and then sealed off to prevent any further infection from developing. Depending on the dentist, your dentist may choose to wait a few days to seal the tooth to track its progress, or will choose to seal the tooth the same day. Root canals can provide patients with relief from tooth pain resulting from the decay and infection of a tooth. Root canals provide multiple benefits besides pain relief, including:

  • Stops the spread of infections
  • It gives your teeth appealing results
  • It saves the tooth
  • Helps prevent jawbone degeneration
  • Enhances your overall oral health

Signs/Symptoms of an Infected/Decaying Root Canal

To find out if you need a root canal procedure, you need to visit your dentist to have your tooth problems diagnosed. Some of the warning signs of an infected tooth can include:

  • Ongoing pain that’s consistent and gets worse when bitten down.

  • Sensitivity to hot foods and cold drinks

  • Excessive swelling in the gums

  • Excessive tenderness in the gums

  • Darkening tooth

  • Lumps/pimples growing on the gums

  • Foul odor from the gums/tooth when touched

  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing teeth

For proper dental care, one of the best practices to go to for a root canal treatment comes from Dr. Raj – Shikha Batra at Troy Dental Studio, located in Troy, MI. Dr. Batra can perform the root canal treatment you need to help preserve your tooth and get rid of the infection within a matter of weeks. Contact Troy Dental Studio to schedule an appointment today.

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