A root canal is a procedure that protects a compromised tooth against further injury or decay by the removal of the living tissue, or pulp, within the tooth. The resulting empty chamber is filled with a special type of latex, and the tooth is capped by a realistic-looking crown that preserves the ability to bite and chew. Although the decision about whether a root canal is necessary should be made by a dentist, it is important to be aware of these common signs that indicate dental distress:
- Tooth Fracture
An injury that breaks or chips a tooth may have exposed its inner pulp chamber, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Seeking dental care immediately after trauma to the mouth can help prevent further damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the affected tooth, as a dentist can sanitize the wound and provide the necessary restorative work to seal the pulp chamber. However, a root canal may be the optimal solution for a tooth that has suffered extensive injury.
- Extreme Sensitivity or Pain
If a particular tooth hurts when it is touched or is especially sensitive to temperature extremes, the underlying nerve may be inflamed. Although this condition does not always necessitate a root canal, it should be evaluated by a dentist in order to rule out the possibility of an infection that could otherwise lead to the eventual loss of the tooth.
- Localized Swelling
An infection within the pulp chamber of a tooth may lead to swelling of the gums around the affected tooth. There may also be foul-tasting liquid draining from the area. In order to prevent serious infection of the jawbone, face, or blood, such an abscess must be treated as quickly as possible by a dentist.
If you have noticed any of the above symptoms and are concerned that a root canal may be in order, contact John Carson, DDS by calling (520) 514-7203. Our office serves the residents of Tucson with restorative and cosmetic dental treatments to promote healthy and attractive smiles.