Do Not Let Your Tooth Die When Root Canal Therapy Can Save It

If you have a bad toothache, your tooth could be infected. If you just try to get through the pain, that infection can spread, forcing us to remove that tooth to protect your health. If we catch the infection early enough, our dentist can use root canal therapy to save the tooth.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Harmful bacteria can thrive in your mouth, living off food particles left behind when you do not brush and floss regularly. When they decide to live on the surface of your teeth, they can cause tooth decay and cavities. But there are times when the bacteria gets past the enamel and into your tooth. This can happen when a cavity has been ignored for way too long.

Inside of your tooth is some material called pulp. It is home to nerve endings and blood vessels for your teeth. When bacteria infects the pulp, you could very well lose that tooth — if the pain does not get to you first. The only way to save the tooth and end the pain is root canal therapy.

In this dental treatment, Dr. Airey will make a small opening in your tooth so he can reach the pulp. Next, he will gently and carefully remove the infected pulp. This gets rid of the bacteria causing the problem. An inert material replaces the infected pulp to make sure your tooth is as strong as before. Then Dr. Airey places a dental crown over the tooth, making sure it is protected but looks normal.

Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?
There is a myth that root canal therapy is painful. It is probably because of the difference between enamel and pulp. Your tooth’s enamel has no nerve endings, so when harmful bacteria creates a cavity there, filling that in with tooth-colored composite material does not trigger any nerves. Your pulp is where all of the nerve endings for your teeth are found, so when patients hear Dr. Airey will take out the infected parts of the pulp, they might worry those nerves will be triggered. However, thanks to local anesthetic and the expertise of Dr. Airey, root canal therapy at our office is no more painful than getting a cavity filled.

What Are Some Signs That I Might Need Root Canal Therapy?
Since the problem is that bacteria has infected the inside of your tooth, sometimes there are no signs. Our digital X-rays can spot these cases. But here are some of the more obvious signs that you can spot at home:

  • A severe toothache
  • Pain around the tooth
  • Pain in a certain spot in your mouth when you chew
  • A tooth that is unusually sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks
  • A strange color to a tooth
  • Swollen and tender gums around one tooth

Since there can sometimes be no visible signs, this is partly why we always recommend coming in for a dental cleaning and dental exam every six months. The sooner we can spot an infection inside your tooth, the easier it will be to get rid of it.

To learn more about root canal therapy in Boone, North Carolina, or to schedule your next appointment, give Appalachian Dental Care a call today at 828-264-9938 or use our online form.

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