When do you need a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, simply put, is a procedure to repair and save a tooth that is badly infected or decayed without actually extracting the tooth. The treatment involves removing an infection from the infected pulp of a tooth. It helps to prevent future problems such as major toothaches or the spreading of the infection to neighbouring teeth by protecting our decontaminated teeth from future bacterial invasion. To determine if you need to undergo a root canal treatment, these are some signs to look out for:
- Cracked, chipped or fractured teeth
There are two major reasons why a chipped or cracked tooth indicates a need for root canal. Firstly, there might be trauma on the tooth that created the chip or crack and has now caused inflamed or infected pulp. Secondly, a tooth may be decayed or infected till the extent that it is cracked or chipped from being dead. Either way, it is likely that a root canal treatment is needed to save the remainder of the tooth.
Any pain experienced in your mouth is a cause of concern that should be brought up to your dentist. However, there are certain types of pain that are linked to the root canal. In particular, spontaneous pain that hits you out of the blue likely means that you have an infected or dead tooth that may need a root canal treatment. Also, if you lay down or bend down and feel an uncomfortable pressure on your tooth and face, this could be linked to your root canal.
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a common condition. However, if it still persists despite using specially formulated toothpastes, the nerves of the tooth may be damaged. This is especially so when the sensitivity and pain from hot and cold lingers long after drinking or eating.
- Swollen gums
Inflamed gums after flossing or brushing too hard, is possible. If the swollen gums persist, this is more likely due to Infected or decayed teeth. Swollen gums may also occur due to the infected pulp secreting waste matter.
- Darkening of the gums
Darkening of the gums is a sign that the gums are decayed. If there is an infection and the tooth is dying, the gums will begin to decay.
A gum abscess, similar to a pimple, in that it is a “pocket of pus”. It occurs on the gum or deep inside the tooth and appears as a dark spot on an x-ray because it is a hole whereby the jawbone did not grow around an infection. A gum abscess is dangerous and can contaminate the blood if left untreated.
- Bumps on the gums
A bump or a boil on the gums, also known as fistula, occurs when the discharge from an abscess creates pressure and has nowhere else to drain. Fistulas are unlikely to heal on their own and when left untreated, infection can spread to the jawbone or other parts of the mouth and body.
- Tooth discolouration
A major sign to get root canal is when a tooth becomes discoloured. This occurs when the nerve around the tooth is infected or damaged. The tooth may turn a light or dark grey, or even dark charcoal in colour.
If you suspect that you have an infection in your tooth, or exhibit any of the signs above, it is imperative that you schedule for a root canal treatment as soon as possible. Contact us at 1728 Dental to clarify your doubts and determine your suitability for the procedure.
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