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Troubled Tooth? 2 Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Root Canal Trearment
Most people don't like surprises at the dental office, especially when the news involves a root canal. Fortunately, you can keep your teeth healthier and prevent ongoing problems by knowing the signs your teeth might require an endodontic intervention. Learn how to tell if you need a root canal and what to expect during this procedure.

1. Tooth Discoloration

Each of your teeth contains an inner pulp chamber filled with tiny blood vessels and nerves, which supply the teeth with nutrients and warn you of problems. Unfortunately, when the teeth are subjected to force, these tiny blood vessels can be damaged, letting blood pour into the surrounding area.

Depending on the nature and location of tooth concussions, the surface of the tooth might also be compromised, giving bacteria easy access to the interior of the tooth and paving the way for infections. Sometimes, simple trauma is enough to kill the tooth, while other times, lingering infections can seep into the jaw around the tooth, leading to bone loss.

To protect the tooth, dentists can administer a root canal, which removes the blood vessels and nerves from the inside of your tooth. Root canals also help to eliminate bacteria and infections from the tooth interior, helping dentists to keep the jaw and periodontal arch safe.

If you notice that one of your teeth is changing color, make a dental appointment immediately. By using xrays, dentists can check the health of the tooth and dental root. If you do need a root canal, the dentist will clean the interior of the tooth, which can help to eliminate some of the discoloration.

2. Dental Sensitivity or Pain

Discoloration isn't the only sign of a troubled tooth. When oral bacteria are allowed to rest on the teeth because of poor brushing or flossing, they can create acids that erode enamel and create cavities. Over time, oral decay can run deep enough that it infects the interior of your tooth, creating sensitivity and dental pain.

Teeth can also hurt because of fractures, which may or may not extend down the length of the tooth root. Sometimes, tooth fractures cause intermittent pain since the tooth may not hurt when the jaw is in a resting position. However, pressure sensitivity and pain while chewing is a sign that the inner portion of the tooth is inflamed, which is why your dentist might recommend a root canal.

Root Canal Process

During root canals, the dentist creates a small access point in the biting surface of the tooth. Then he or she uses small endodontic files to clean the inside of the tooth and the canals that run the length of the root.

After the tooth is clean, a special sanitizing solution is used to eliminate any trace of bacteria from the inside of the tooth. To prevent the infection from returning, the dentist fills the entire interior of the tooth with a special rubber compound and seals the access point with a filling.

Because teeth become naturally brittle without a blood supply, your dentist will recommend placing a crown over the top of the tooth after the treatment is complete. Fortunately, dental crowns are attractive in addition to functional. The result is a tooth that is comfortable, strong, and stable.

Unfortunately, sometimes teeth that require a root canal don't display any symptoms at all, while simultaneously putting the patient at risk for severe infections. To keep your smile healthy, schedule an appointment with Joseph M. Perry, D.D.S., P.A. for a checkup.

Our dentist can also help you with everything from dental sealants for kids to implants for missing teeth.