The teeth receive the required nourishment and sensation from the dental pulp, which is composed of nerves and blood vessels. The dental pulp is protected by two layers of the teeth, namely the dentin and enamel, which keep the microbes at bay. However, when you develop a deep cavity or have a severely damaged tooth, the microbes in the mouth can go into the root canal and infect the pulp. This can lead to severe inflammation, and if left untreated, it could cost you a tooth.
What are the symptoms of root canal infection?
- Pain and discomfort when you bite or chew food, brush the teeth, or simply touch the infected tooth.
- Swelling and redness of the gums near the infected tooth
- Formation of an abscess near the tooth, which can lead to the discharge of pus and bleeding
- The tooth may gradually start to become dull in color due to the infected pulp within.
- Over time, the underlying jawbone could start to deteriorate. This can make the tooth loosen from its socket and eventually fall off.
How is a root canal infection treated?
A root canal therapy is the last option to save a severely infected tooth when all the other means of restoring it do not yield the desired results. The dentist will visually screen the tooth and take x-rays of the mouth to determine the severity of the infection. It gives us a better view of the root canal and helps us understand how the microbes have affected the pulp canals within.
The dentist or the hygienist will make a small hole on the tooth to access the root canal, through which the infected pulp will be removed. This is done using special dental files, which will be inserted into the root canal through the hole. The walls of the pulp canals will be scrubbed to remove the microbes and shaped accordingly. Antibiotic medication will be placed in it, and the hole will be sealed off using suitable filling material.
Once the pulp is removed from the tooth, it could gradually weaken due to the absence of nourishment. It could break or crack when you bite or chew hard foods or when you sustain oral trauma. Hence, we recommend getting the tooth restored with a ceramic crown. The crown would protect the tooth by holding it intact, and it can be customized to mimic the adjoining teeth perfectly.
To know more, please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us at (317) 547-1111 to book an appointment with Dr. Sinnis at our office in Indianapolis, IN, and we'll guide you further.