It’s not a secret that most people tend to dread undergoing any type of dental treatment, but root canals in particular are a special breed of anxiety inducing procedures. Simply mentioning the term “root canal” to a dental patient can cause them to go into an involuntary panic mode. The main reason for this is that people generally associate a great deal of pain and discomfort with receiving a root canal treatment this, however, is a fallacy today with the current procedures and modern treatment techniques. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the extensive damages your mouth will incur if you continue to put off the procedure for too long. For the best possible results and relief of your pain and discomfort, consider making an appointment to receive root canal treatment as soon as you start experiencing any unusual symptoms and have the treatment plan verified by your dentist.
Image Source: iStock.com/seb_ra
What Is a Root Canal?
The mouth is the perfect breeding ground for various types of harmful bacteria to collect in certain areas and wreak havoc on your oral health. Severe infections, oral trauma or injury, and cavities can all result in the necessity for root canal therapy.
This is an endodontic procedure in which your dental professional will have to create a small opening in the affected tooth in order to remove the dead or damaged tissues inside. If left untreated for too long, this dead tissue can quickly become infected and the infection can spread to the surrounding tissue, eventually causing swelling in the gums. It can even spread to your face and further making you feel generally unwell.
Depending on the extent of the infection or damage your tooth has endured, a root canal can be a relative simple or complex surgical procedure that involves removing the infected material from within the tooth and then carefully resealing it with a strong dental adhesive, otherwise known as a filler.
In extreme cases where the internal structure of the tooth is completely degraded to the point of being unsalvageable, tooth extraction may be necessary. However, this happens in very rare cases where the patient neglected receiving appropriate treatment for far too long. As long as you schedule regular dental checkups as recommended by your dentist, then you have no reason to worry.
Signs You Might Need a Root Canal
If you’re worried that you might need a root canal, but aren’t completely sure, here are a few indicative symptoms that there may be something wrong with one or more of your teeth.
Extreme and Persistent Tooth Pain
To be honest, any pain you feel in your teeth or gums is abnormal and should be a cause for concern. If the pain is persistent and doesn’t subside after a few minutes, however, it may be a sign of an underlying problem such as an internal tooth infection. This is especially evident if the pain is localized in a particular part of your mouth. Either way, it’s definitely something you should bring up at your next dental appointment.
Each of your teeth are composed of several layers of material that hold them together. One of the most important structures within your teeth is the pulp chamber. If the pulp chamber is infected with harmful bacteria, then the pulp must be removed immediately to prevent further spreading of the infection. If this is neglected for too long, an abscess could start to form on your gum line directly above or below the infected tooth. Abscesses are pimple-like pus formations that develop at the root of the tooth.
Suffering an Oral Trauma or Injury
Suffering any type of oral injury can be extremely problematic for your teeth and gums. For instance, taking a direct hit in the face either during an assault, car accident, or fall can damage your teeth, in some cases causing a severe crack or forcing them to move upward directly into your gums. A crack in your teeth is the equivalent of developing a cavity. In both cases, the internal structure of your tooth is exposed and therefore vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria. If you endure any type of oral injury, it’s important that you immediately schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist.
Severe Tooth Decay
Extensive bacterial infections can lead to severe tooth decay, which is characterized by a discoloured brown or greyish hue on one or more of your teeth. If the enamel on your teeth dissipates or becomes damaged, harmful bacteria can quickly infiltrate the surface of your teeth and infect them internally, causing severe tooth decay. This is basically the annihilation of the internal structure of your teeth. The main culprit for tooth decay is eating too many foods that contain high concentrations of carbohydrates and failing to practice proper oral care. The longer these food particles remain in the spaces between your teeth, the greater the chances are for infection as they slowly wear away at your enamel.
Extreme Lingering Sensitivity
Feeling the occasional pang of sensitivity when you take a sip of a cold or hot beverage is perfectly normal. If that sensitivity worsens or lingers for an excruciating length of time, however, then this means there’s an underlying problem with your tooth that you should definitely get checked out. In some cases, tooth sensitivity can be akin to feeling pain. It’s extremely uncomfortable and can even hinder you from proceeding with your regular activities.
Massive Gum Inflammation
Infected gums are typically inflamed, red, and very tender to the touch. If your gums bleed easily upon contact or when you brush and floss your teeth, then this is a dead giveaway that they may be infected. Although, swollen, red, and bleeding gums aren’t necessarily only associated with tooth infection. Sometimes, gum inflammation is just indicative of a lack of proper oral care and this should be remedied right away before more serious problems develop.
Why Choose Princeview Dental for Root Canal Treatment in Toronto?
Princeview Dental Group has been in Toronto’s Kingsway neighbourhood for more than 20 years. We administer all kinds of dental treatments including root canal therapy, checkups, regular cleanings, fillings, and so forth. To learn more about our clinic or schedule an appointment with our dental professionals, please contact us today!