A tooth infection is a serious issue. In addition to causing significant pain, infections compromise your oral health as well as the health of your whole body. Untreated infections can contribute to significant health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes. An infected tooth does not heal on its own. At Atlantic Dentistry, we can treat an infected tooth, restoring the health of your mouth, with a root canal.
How Does a Tooth Get Infected?
Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body. Even so, they are not indestructible. Your teeth can suffer physical damage or decay. When these issues develop, the tooth becomes compromised. If the damage or decay goes past the enamel layer, bacteria can enter into the tooth. Once inside, the bacteria begin to multiply. They attack the pulp, or soft tissue, inside of the tooth. This causes the pulp to become inflamed, which can then cause significant pain. Infections only worsen the longer they go untreated. The bacteria continue to multiply. Eventually, they begin to spill out through the root of the tooth. This leads to the formation of an abscess. An abscess is a sac that forms in an attempt to contain the bacteria to prevent them from spreading. An abscess can grow larger and larger, and may even burst, which then lets the bacteria into your bloodstream.
How Do I Know if I Have a Tooth Infection?
One of the most common symptoms of a tooth infection is a painful toothache. Sometimes, though, an infection can develop without any pain. In some cases, you may notice pain, but it disappears after a while. This does not mean that the problem is gone. If you are experiencing a toothache, it is important to schedule an appointment right away. There are a few other symptoms that can indicate an infection as well. These symptoms include swelling in your jaw and face near the affected tooth, lingering tooth sensitivity, and a chronic bad taste in your mouth. You may also develop an abscess or experience bone loss, but these issues are only detectable with an X-ray.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment performed to get rid of an infection inside of a tooth, restoring its health and preventing more serious issues from developing. At the same time, a root canal also allows the tooth to remain in its socket, preventing the need for an extraction. Root canals have a high rate of success. In most cases, a tooth treated with a root canal can continue to function normally for the rest of your life.
What is the Process for a Root Canal?
A root canal is performed under a local anesthetic. This numbs the treatment area so that you do not feel any pain during the procedure. If necessary, sedation can also be provided to help you further relax and remain comfortable. We begin your root canal by drilling a small access hole at the top of the infected tooth. Small tools are used to remove the infected pulp and the nerve. We then clean and shape the canals inside the tooth. The entire interior of the tooth is disinfected. Next, a special material called gutta-percha is placed inside of the tooth. This material helps to seal the newly cleaned canals, preventing new bacterial invasions. Finally, the tooth is given a crown. The crown functions to further protect the tooth from new infections. It also restores the strength of the tooth so that it can continue to function normally.
If you suspect you have a tooth infection, it is essential to get treatment right away. Call Atlantic Dentistry at 904 717-0335 today to schedule your appointment.