A root canal infection occurs when bacteria invade the tooth’s inner chamber that houses the tooth’s nerves. This debilitating oral health condition typically occurs due to untreated tooth decay. But repeated dental treatments on the same tooth, necrosis caused by tooth concussion, and a tooth anatomy abnormality can also cause a root canal infection.
If you have any signs of a root canal infection, you should seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of your mouth.
Signs of a Root Canal Infection
Several signs indicate that the infection has spread to tissues around the infected tooth. Even if you don’t experience any discomfort, but have some of the other signs, bacteria from the infection can damage the bone that holds your tooth in place, so it is important to visit your dentist for a dental examination.
Discomfort and Swelling
Intense discomfort when biting down or placing pressure on the affected tooth is one of the first signs that you need to seek dental care. You may also experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods that doesn’t subside.
If the infection originates around the gums, you will experience tender, red and swollen gums around the tooth.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth and Tooth Mobility
A severely chipped or cracked tooth allows bacteria to enter the dental pulp causing an infection. When the tooth’s nerves die, the tooth may feel loose.
Chronic Bad Breath, Pus and Abscess
Despite your normal oral health regimen, you may experience persistent bad breath.
The odour is caused by the bacteria responsible for the root canal infection.
The bacteria can also cause a pus-filled pocket known as an abscess that looks like a small pimple that is swollen and sensitive.
The infected tooth can darken due to restricted blood flow caused by the infection.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is an oral health procedure that repairs and saves your infected tooth. Your dentist removes the inflamed and infected dental pulp to reduce the likelihood of an extraction. Root canal treatment may involve more than one visit depending on the extent of the infection and if it needs to be treated with antibiotics before root canal therapy can be performed.
Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure that is performed under local anaesthetic. The decay is removed, and a small opening is made in the tooth crown to reach the pulp chamber.
The pulp tissue is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, disinfected and shaped. Next, the root canals are sealed with gutta-percha to prevent bacteria from entering and causing another infection, and a temporary filling is placed.
Although some teeth can be restored with a filling after root canal treatment, most require a dental crown to restore function, integrity and appearance to the tooth. This should be done within a month of getting the root canal to ensure the infection doesn’t return. Your dentist may place a metal post if there is not enough tooth structure remaining to hold the crown in place.
Contact Dapto Dentists for a Consultation
If the infection is minor and the decay is not close to your dental nerve, a filling may resolve the issue. However, if you have any signs of root canal infection, you will need to have your tooth treated as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading.
The best way to determine if you need root canal treatment is to book a consultation with Dapto Dentists so that we can restore your oral health and smile. Call us today on (02) 4210 9058.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.