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What is a root canal?

Do you have tooth pain or sensitivity when biting, chewing, or drinking cold foods and beverages? It could be due to a tooth that is infected or inflamed. The problem may be a root canal infection caused by bacteria. It can be painful if not treated. In this article, we will talk about what a root canal is, what causes it, signs to look out for, how to know if you need one, and the root canal procedure.

Root canal

A root canal is an effective, conservative treatment option for your damaged or infected tooth pulp. One of the first questions many people ask their dentist is how a root canal is performed and what is a root canal. If a dental nerve has been exposed by an injury or decay in the tooth, bacteria can then infect the nerve. This can cause pain and swelling as well as sensitivity to hot or cold. The infected nerve of the root canal system becomes inflamed because it contains blood vessels that transport oxygen. If left untreated, this can result in excruciating pain throughout your mouth.

What causes a root canal?

Root canals are not something that happens overnight. Root canals are something that occurs over months and even years. Essentially root canals are caused by a lack of proper hygiene in your dental routine. If dental hygiene is overlooked, then root canals can occur. Some things that can cause a root canal are not regularly flossing, forgetting to visit your dentist, and long-term gum disease.

Signs of a root canal

There are several signs of a root canal, but the only sure way to know if you have one is to visit your dentist. Some things to look out for if you think you may have a root canal are persistent pain, sensitivity to heat or cold, tooth discoloration, swollen gums, pain when you eat or touch the tooth, a chipped or cracked tooth, and tooth mobility. If you are experiencing multiple symptoms, we recommend you book an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience.

What happens during a root canal procedure

During a root canal procedure, your dentist will numb and clean the infected area, remove the damaged or dead tissue and disinfect it. They may smooth out the root canal before filling it with a medicated material to help prevent future problems. Then your dentist will fill the area with a filling that matches the rest of your teeth. Expect the area of the tooth to be numb for 2-4 hours after the procedure. Most patients can resume their normal day-to-day activities once the procedure is completed. If you follow your dentist’s instructions for care, you should be able to resume your regular eating habits within several days after the procedure.

Schedule a procedure today

Root canals can seem a lot more intimidating than they are. Contact us with additional questions or concerns about root canals. We look forward to seeing your smiling face soon!

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