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When Do You Need A Root Canal?

Published on August 29, 2016

root infections

Root canals are performed on teeth suffering from root infections within the teeth themselves, rather than in the gums.

It’s important to see the signs of infection before heading into the dentist’s office, though not all of these signs are obvious, and would have to be checked on in the dentist’s office regardless. However, there are some warning signals you can look out for. The earlier you catch the signs of infection, the easier and less painful the surgery and recovery will be.

Some risk factors for infection include recent facial trauma, chipped or cracked teeth, the presence of large fillings, or too many dental procedures on one tooth.

Severe Toothaches

Frequent and repeated toothaches while eating may be a sign of root infections. In this case, it could be that the deep root nerves in your teeth are inflamed, and react abnormally to pressure. You should give your Nashua dentist a call if you notice that chewing induces sharp pain deep in the gums.

Prolonged Temperature Sensitivity

When your teeth are exposed to extreme temperatures in foods, a bit of root freeze or root burn is natural to feel at first. However, if this sensitivity is staying around long after you’ve eaten the food, it may be a sign of an infection.

Darkening Teeth

The color of the dentin (main tooth tissue) may especially darken compared to your other teeth in the presence of infection. This is a fairly serious symptom; if you notice one of your teeth growing especially darker, call Dr. Ahmed as soon as possible.

Swelling of Gums

This can be a root or pulp infection or even a periodontal (gum) infection. Either way, if you notice that your gums are swollen or tender, regardless of what it might be, you should talk to Dr. Ahmed as soon as possible.

Persistent Periodontal Pimples

Pimples on the gums are another tell-tale sign of infection, though they are less urgent than swelling. If they recur often after they pop, or do not fully recover, it would be wise to schedule a checkup.

Remember: sometimes root infections don’t have visible or noticeable symptoms, and it’s important to visit the dentist regularly so as to preemptively stop the infection before it develops into a painful abscess.

Call us or make an appointment online to discuss a checkup with Dr. Ahmed and make sure you know the state of your teeth.

What is a Root Canal Procedure?

Published on January 7, 2016

Tooth decay, dental disease, and trauma to the face are just some of the reasons a tooth may become infected and require a root canal. Indications that you have developed an infection include:

  • One or more of your teeth causes constant throbbing pain
  • The pain worsens when you drink a beverage not at room temperature or bite into your food
  • The pain worsens when you stand up or lie down
  • You notice swelling of your neck or face
  • You have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth despite brushing and using mouthwash regularly
  • The painful tooth looks darker than your other teeth
  • You notice a pus-filled sac formation on or near your gum line

The last point is especially important because pus leaking from underneath a tooth can damage the supporting bone and cause a tooth abscess. This extremely painful condition is a dental emergency requiring prompt treatment. We encourage you to contact Alpha Dental about any new, unusual, or worsening symptoms so we can evaluate the problem right away. Because some patients have an infected tooth without experiencing pain or any other symptoms, it’s also important to keep up with your bi-annual cleaning appointments. Dr. Pasha and Dr. Ahmed occasionally spot tooth infections during a routine exam and schedule a root canal to treat them.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Some patients feel anxious about getting a root canal because they have heard that it’s painful. They may also feel confused and ask, “What is a root canal procedure?” First, we’d like to put your mind at ease by letting you know that most people who have had root canals say they didn’t find them especially uncomfortable. Dental technology has advanced rapidly to make having a root canal as fast and pain-free as possible.

To prepare you for the process, your dentist numbs the affected tooth and surrounding gums. Removing the infected pulp from the tooth root comes next. Once this is complete, Dr. Pasha or Dr. Ahmed cleans your tooth from the inside and then surrounds the tooth with a sealant to prevent bacteria from invading it. The last step involves having a crown placed on the tooth that received the root canal. This helps to keep it strong as well as acts as an additional guard against infection. It also allows for normal chewing once the procedure is complete.

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