What is a root canal and how do I know if it is infected?
Root canal refers to the hollow space within the root of the tooth that’s filled with soft tissue and nerves (also called pulp). When the pulp becomes infected it can cause extreme tooth pain and it can lead to tooth decay. To eliminate the pain and discomfort, your dentist will perform a procedure called a root canal. It’s a very common dental procedure where the inflamed or infected nerves and tissue are removed to avoid the infection from spreading to surrounding teeth.
Good oral hygiene is being aware of changes to the appearance, sensitivity, and function of your teeth. You can spot the symptoms of an infected root canal before it becomes a major dental problem. Here are some signs to look for:
Tooth pain can result from a variety of ailments, but if you suffer from constant, localized pain that is especially strong when biting down, it could be a sign of a root canal infection.
Sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods
A certain degree of sensitivity to hot or cold foods is normal, but it’s time to call your dentist if you feel throbbing pain or pressure while eating such foods, or continued sensitivity long after you stopped eating.
Swelling and tenderness
If you experience swelling and tenderness around the gums, mouth, or face, it may be the result of a root canal infection.
Pain, sensitivity and tenderness are the more obvious signs of infection, but some symptoms are not so obvious. If the tooth starts to look discolored, it’s possible that a mouth injury has traumatized the tooth and resulted in a root canal infection.
Pimple or abscess on the gums
A pimple or abscess on the gums near the affected tooth is a clear sign of infection, especially if it releases pus or fluid.
Hot feeling around the tooth and gums
Similar to symptoms of infection in other areas of the body, root canal infections can make the gums and the affected tooth feel hot or abnormally warm.
When to call your dentist
If you experience any of the above root canal infection symptoms, you’ll need to see your dentist as soon as possible for an exam and X-rays. The root canal procedure typically takes one appointment, and you should feel complete relief from your symptoms within a few days.
Get the relief you need
No one should have to suffer the pain and discomfort of a root canal infection. Get the relief you need at Sedation and Implant Dentistry Irvine, where our professional, compassionate dental experts will guide you through the root canal procedure and keep you as comfortable as possible along the way. Give us a call at (949) 424-5137.