Dental Blog

Root Canals: Relieve the Pain & Save Your Natural Teeth 

Laura Heckart - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

       

       
         
      • What are the symptoms or signs that you need a Root Canal? 

       

      There are a variety of signs your body gives you to let you know something is not right. Often times, we tend to ignore them, or blow them off until they become more severe. This act alone, can cause more harm. Putting things off that involve your health until they become painful can have irreversible effects. In many cases, we often times can avoid major procedures or incidences if we just address problems as they arise. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Ugh…not the case! While it may be out of your thoughts, what is lurking below the surface can be damaging your health. It is not any different when it comes to your oral health. Your oral health can directly affect your general health, as your body is its own ecosystem. When you disrupt one part of that ecosystem, your oral health in this case, you throw the entire ecosystem off.

       

      So, what signs should you be looking for that may indicate you’re in need of a root canal?

       

      • -Fever is always a sure sign of infection somewhere in the body. While it may not guarantee infection with your oral health, a fever is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and it is trying to fight it off. Consistent fever, definitely requires a trip to the doctor.

        • -Pain or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures on your tooth for prolonged periods of time is a clear sign that something is not right. This especially rings true, if your sensitivity continues after the hot or cold temperature items have been removed. Dentists in The Woodlands, at The Woodlands Dental Group state that if you notice pain or sensitivity to hot and cold temperature, that you monitor your sensitivity and if it persists, schedule an appointment.
        • -Discoloration of your tooth can mean you have damaged the pulp of your tooth and are in need of a root canal. The discoloration is generally a darkening color change versus a yellowing.
        -Pimples- Another sign you may need a root canal is recurring pimples on your gums. It may not seem like a pimple at first, but, it will have all the general characteristics of a traditional non-oral pimple. You may also notice swelling in the gums around the infected tooth ("WebMD", 2017).
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      What is the cause of Root Canals?

       

      Now that you have identified the symptoms, let’s talk about the causes of root canals. First you need to understand the anatomy of the tooth. Pulp is inside the center of the tooth. IT contains tissue and the nerve, in addition to blood vessels. The nerve endings run along the root, or sometimes called, legs, of the tooth. Once a tooth has matured, the tooth’s nerve does not serve a purpose other than sensory purposes: detecting hot or cold temperatures. The functionality of the tooth can still be in tact if the nerve is removed. Do to trauma, the pulp can become infected with bacteria. And, what happens when bacteria are not addressed? They spread. Thus, you need a root canal to remove the infection, clean it out, and desensitize the tooth. What can cause this infection?

      • -Trauma to the tooth- Accidents happen, and a chipped tooth, or damaged tooth can suffer a crack.
      • -Deep Tooth Decay- Untreated tooth decay can cause severe damage to the tooth and its roots, in addition to the pulp of the tooth.
      • -Large Fillings, and repeated dental procedures performed on the same tooth over and again, can cause the need for a root canal ("WebMD", 2017).
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      What exactly is a Root Canal?

       

      Once the pulp becomes infected with bacteria and decay, it has to be removed. Your dentist will go into the tooth and remove all the infected pulp, and clean out the inside of the tooth. The tooth, is then sealed. All of the pulp must be removed, because once the pulp is infected, the bacteria will multiply and the infection will continue. We discussed that removing the nerve will not affect the functionality of the tooth itself, so the pulp is not needed. Having a root canal can save your natural tooth, and spare you the need of a dental implant or bridge ("WebMD", 2017).

       

      Is it Painful, and how long does it take?

       

      Ironically, the procedure itself is not very painful at all. The stigma that has plagued root canals for many years is not valid. The pain people think of, is the pain and discomfort they experience leading up to the root canal procedure. The length of the procedure is highly dependent upon the individual. That said, it is a one-day procedure, and can be done in-office, so no need for an overnight stay in a facility. You can certainly eat after your procedure once the numbness from the procedure has worn off. Take note, that you will not have sensory skills for that tooth, so be aware of the hot and cold temperatures of food ("WebMD", 2017).

       

       

      References

      WebMD. (2017). Retrieved from http://webmd.com


       

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