A root canal infection should be treated immediately in order to save your diseased tooth. Not treating the infection and its cause can result in tooth loss, as well as a spreading infection that could affect the other teeth in your mouth and your gums. While a root canal treatment traditionally used to be quite painful, today’s procedures are relatively efficient and we perform them regularly at Good Choice Dental to assist our patients to maintain good oral health.
The Causes Of A Root Canal Infection
Infections and disease of a root canal can be caused by a number of factors. It is usually the result of tooth decay that has gone very deep, or which has been present for a while and left untreated. It is also possible for a root canal infection to be caused by decay underneath a tooth filling, trauma to your tooth, teeth grinding or advanced gum disease. Often bacteria enter the tooth through cracks, fractures. When bacteria have entered the tooth they start to multiply, creating infected matter.
What Is The Tooth Pulp?
Each tooth has pulp inside of it, and the purpose of the pulp is to provide your tooth with nutrients and nerves.
Treating A Root Canal Infection: What To Expect
Cleaning out infected material
A root canal treatment is the most effective way to save your natural teeth if the canals are infected. During the root canal treatment procedure, the tooth canals are cleaned out and the infected material and bacteria are removed before the root canals are sealed up again. If your infection happened because of an old filling or restoration, this will be removed along with any bacteria, nerves and infected debris.
Reshaping your tooth canals
The second phase of a root canal treatment involves reshaping your tooth canals so that they are smooth enough not to harbour any more bacteria and protect your future oral health.
Your dental practitioner may also give you a course of antibiotics to help you heal from the infection faster.
Sealing the tooth canal
Once all infected matter has been removed and your tooth canals have been smoothed out your dentist will seal the tooth canals up to prevent reinfection.
Restoring your tooth to full functionality
Sometimes it is necessary to make more than one visit to the dentist, to clean out and reshape your tooth canals. Once your dentist is satisfied that all infected has been removed, a filling or restoration will be placed over the damaged area to protect you from future infection, at the final stage of your root canal treatment. You will need to take special care to look after your oral health with twice-daily brushing and flossing and make regular visits to your dentist.
Does A Root Canal Treatment Hurt?
A root canal treatment is no more painful than a dental filling, and the pain from the infection is likely to hurt more than the treatment itself.
Is Pain After Root Canal Normal?
You should not experience prolonged pain after a root canal. You may experience some discomfort but this can be expected to improve in the days following your procedure. Any prolonged or worsening pain could be a sign that you need to have another cleaning session with your dentist.
The Complications And Side Effects Of A Tooth Canal Infection
Infection should not be left untreated and it will not self-resolve. It is also a very painful condition that can compromise your oral health if you do not seek help from your dentist.
Spreading Root Canal Infection
An infection must be treated as early as possible otherwise it will spread. It is likely to spread to the adjacent teeth, and may even spread to the gums through a pocket of pus. This can cause an abscess to form at the base of your tooth.
If a significant amount of your tooth has been lost due to the infection, you may have to have the tooth removed. Lost teeth should be replaced, otherwise, the remaining teeth in your mouth will drift in order to fill up space. This causes them to loosen and you may end up losing other teeth.
If you are concerned about a root canal infection it is important to discuss a root canal treatment with your dentist as soon as possible. Please contact us for a convenient appointment: (02) 8203 8760.