What is a root canal?
The actual root canal is a part of your tooth that is made up of the inner passages that connect the tooth's pulp to the roots.
A root canal procedure (or root canal therapy) is a dental treatment in which infected tooth pulp material is removed from the interior of the tooth in order to prevent pain and preserve the tooth.
How can I tell if I need a root canal?
If you have a painful tooth it's essential to see your dentist to find out if a root canal or another dental treatment is right for you. Nonetheless, there are some common signs that may indicate that you may need a root canal.
An infection of the tooth pulp is often characterized by pain in the tooth.
If you need a root canal, you may notice sharp pain while you are chewing or otherwise applying pressure to the tooth. You may also experience severe sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
If you are experiencing pain in your tooth, book an appointment with your Amherstburg dentists as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment.
A Bump on the Gums
Some people in need of a root canal may notice a small, pimple-like bump forming on the gums near a particular tooth. This is called a dental cyst.
Dental cysts form around the roots of decayed or infected teeth and sometimes form if the pulp of a tooth is infected.
Darkening of the Tooth
A tooth with infected pulp may become dark in colour, or even black, due to internal damage. If you notice that one of your teeth has become darker than the others, it may be indicative of a problem with the inner pulp.
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
We understand that a root canal procedure sounds scary to many people, but with today’s technology, it’s typically not a whole lot more different than having a deep filling placed. There’s little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you’re comfortable during the procedure.
Your mouth may feel sore or tender after the root canal. Your dentist may suggest that you take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
Generally, pre-treatment pain can be high, but the pain tends to drop moderately within a day of treatment and then drop substantially to minimal levels within a week.
How to Prevent a Root Canal
To prevent the need for a root canal, simply adhere to the same diligent dental hygiene habits that help prevent cavities and other tooth problems. To keep your teeth healthy, try to get into the habit of following these steps:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride rinse.
- See your dentist for checkups every 6 months.
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist or hygienist at least once a year.
- Restrict the amount of sugary food and refined carbohydrates you consume. These foods have a tendency to stick to your teeth. If you eat sugary foods, try to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth shortly afterward.
Are you experiencing symptoms that lead you to believe that you may need a root canal? Contact our Amherstburg dentists to book an examination. Our team can assess your oral health and recommend treatment options to address your specific oral health problem.