Teeth are one of the most integral parts of our body and play a huge role in our appearance. But, oral issues such as cavities, discoloration, gum diseases, and other oral infections can ruin the oral health of a person. Out of all such oral conditions, a root canal infection is one of the most painful and complicated conditions that would require immediate attention.
What is a root canal infection?
The root canal is a central cavity that every tooth houses. It is filled with nerves and blood vessels that are responsible for the sensitivity of the tooth and providing nourishment to it. When a tooth develops a cavity or an infection due to certain reasons, it could end up decaying the pulp of the tooth, causing a root canal infection.
What are the causes and symptoms of a root canal infection?
- The most common cause of a root canal infection is plaque and tartar. The accumulated tartar contains a lot of bacteria that release acids which can erode the enamel. This causes a cavity, and when left untreated for a long time, the infection could spread to the pulp, causing a root canal infection.
- Sometimes, when the patient suffers an external injury to the mouth, it could fracture or crack a tooth. This can provide an opening for the microbes in the mouth to enter the root canal cavity and infect it.
- In certain cases, gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis can also lead to such an infection.
The symptoms of a root canal infection include:
- Extreme pain near the infected tooth and surrounding gums when you bite or chew food.
- Release of pus and formation of abscess near the tooth. Sometimes, bleeding may also be encountered.
- When the infection is left untreated for long, it could spread to the gums and jawbone as well. This can cause decay of gums, loosening of the tooth from its socket and possible jawbone deterioration.
Early detection and treatment usually help to save a tooth that has been badly infected. Dr. McGraw has treated several patients with a root canal infection in the past and helped them retain their teeth. We would screen your mouth to determine the severity of the infection and check how much it has spread. X-rays and scans may also be required to check for bone deterioration.
A small hole will be made on the infected tooth to gain access to the pulp. Dental files of different sizes will be used to extract the infected tissues and to scrub the walls of the cavity. A jet of water will be used to rinse out the cavity completely and to remove any remaining debris. Finally, the hole will be sealed off using a filling material after the dentist places a small amount of medication in the cavity to prevent re-infection.
Since the blood vessels are removed from the tooth, it wouldn’t have any nourishment, and hence, could easily fail. The tooth will be covered using a restoration, preferably a porcelain crown in order to prevent it from crumbling.
Schedule an online appointment or call us at (831) 438-1861 to have a consultation with Dr. McGraw and we’ll be able to guide you further.