Our teeth are one of the most integral parts of our body and play a massive role in our facial appearance. But, oral concerns such as cavities, discoloration, gum diseases, and other oral infections can ruin a person's oral health. Out of all such oral issues, a root canal infection is one of the most painful and complicated conditions that will require immediate treatment.
What is root canal infection?
The root canal is the central cavity that every tooth houses. It is filled with the dental pulp, comprising nerves and blood vessels responsible for the tooth's sensitivity and providing. When a tooth develops a cavity or an infection, it could decay the dental pulp, causing a root canal infection.
Causes and symptoms of root canal infection
- The most widely encountered cause of a root canal infection is the adhered plaque and tartar on the teeth surfaces. The accumulated tartar contains thousands of bacteria that release acids, which can erode the enamel. It can lead to cavities, and if left untreated for a long time, the decay may spread to the pulp, causing it to inflame.
- Sometimes, when the individual sustains an external injury to the mouth, it could fracture or crack a tooth. It can provide an opening for the microbes in the mouth to enter the root canal cavity and infect it.
- In some instances, gum diseases such as periodontitis can also lead to such a condition.
The symptoms of a root canal disease include:
- Severe pain near the infected tooth and surrounding soft tissues, especially when you bite or chew food.
- Discharge of pus or formation of an abscess near the tooth. Sometimes, you may experience bleeding.
- When the infection isn't treated for a prolonged duration, it could spread to the gums and jawbone as well. It can lead to decay of gums, loosening of the tooth from the bone, and even jawbone deterioration.
Early diagnosis and treatment would help to save a tooth that has been severely infected. Dr. Puffer has treated numerous patients for a root canal infection in the past and helped them keep their teeth. We will screen your mouth to determine the severity of the infection and understand how much it is spread. X-rays and digital scans may also be required to check for bone deterioration.
The dentist will make a small hole on the tooth to gain access to the inflamed pulp. Special dental files of varying sizes will be used to extract the infected tissues and scrub the cavity walls. A jet of water is used to rinse out the cavity entirely and remove the microbes and debris. Finally, the dentist places a small amount of antibiotic medication in the cavity to prevent reinfection, and the hole will be sealed using filling material.
Since the pulp is removed from the tooth, it wouldn't have any nourishment, making it susceptible to damage. It will be covered using a restoration, preferably a porcelain crown, to keep it from crumbling.
To have a consultation with Dr. Puffer, please call our office at (936) 564-2439 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.