A root canal is a dental process that removes an infected, inflamed, or injured pulp, which is a soft tissue located at the center of the tooth, just beneath the dentin. This can result from a cracked or chipped tooth, numerous dental procedures, and even trauma to the face. It's important to note that, most times, it's difficult to determine the occurrence of a damaged pulp as the tooth's crown can remain intact even in such cases. In addition, symptoms don't usually appear until the situation has become severe.
There are two main types of root canals, namely surgical and non-surgical. The methods used vary, but they basically have the same goal: to fix damaged or infected teeth instead of removing them.
A numbing medication will be used on your gum at the start of the procedure. Then, the dental dam is placed to isolate the tooth and keep it dry before making a hole in its crown to access and remove the infected pulp. After everything's cleaned and disinfected, the empty canal is filled with some flexible material before sealing it with a temporary dental filling to keep bacteria away. It's important to note that before the procedure begins, there are some instructions you need to adhere to, like taking the given antibiotics, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and eating an early meal, to avoid any adverse reactions and allow a more comfortable recovery process.
Anyway, here are some warning signs you need root canal treatment at the soonest possible time:
1. Persistent Pain
Persistent pain is one of the signs you need a root canal treatment ASAP, significantly if it already affects your daily activities, such as drinking and eating. You should treat it as a serious red flag and visit the dentist as soon as possible. For instance, if you live in Holly Springs, contact a dentist in Cary for dental services immediately.
The dentist will examine your tooth to see if the blood vessels or the nerves have been infected. Most dentists prefer to ease the pain with painkillers before doing a root canal to make the patient relax.
2. Cracked Tooth
Causes of the cracked or chipped tooth can range from biting into hard foods or accidents. Unfortunately, the chances of it being invaded with bacteria are high. That said, such cases necessitate a visit to the dentist as they can easily expose the nerves and blood vessels underneath, which might lead to infections. These can quickly spread to other teeth, causing more damage.
3. Swollen Gums
Swollen gums are another sign you might need root canal treatment ASAP. It's best to visit a dentist for an examination and see if the inflammation is to be blamed. This could manifest differently, although it doesn't have to be red and tender.
In some cases, a root canal might be needed to solve swollen gums if they persist in keeping them from worsening. It's important to note that inflammation is one of the ways your gums deal with infections or injuries.
4. Prolonged Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can be familiar to many people, especially when their teeth get in contact with cold or hot drinks and foods. But, if the sensitivity persists for weeks or months without any changes, a root canal should be done, as it could be a sign of a damaged root. This can be disturbing and uncomfortable to many, and anything to ease the pain should be a priority.
5. Tooth Discoloration
Many reasons can cause tooth discoloration. For instance, your nerves can be infected, damaged, or, worst, dying. These can also be caused by poor hygiene, too much exposure to salty water, and foods that cause stains. When blood vessels and nerves are damaged, you should schedule a visit to the dentist at the earliest for a root canal.
6. Deep Decay
Once deep decay has caused damage to the base of the tooth, a root canal would be essential. This happens when the cavity has been neglected for a long time, giving it room to spread down the nerve and the root of the tooth. It's always advised to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist as often as possible to avoid such cases.
If you experience any of the above signs or suspect dental issues that a root canal can only solve, it's best to schedule an appointment with the dentist before the damage worsens. But remember that prevention is always better than cure, so it's a must to observe good oral hygiene and not miss dental checkups to reduce the risk of oral health problems.