The root of a tooth contains a bundle of soft tissue and nerve endings known as dental pulp. If tooth decay penetrates this far, the dental pulp becomes infected and can cause severe toothache – sometimes even a tooth abscess.
The causes of tooth infection are varied – deep decay due to cavities or gum disease, cracked fillings or crowns, and damage as a result of trauma, or even teeth grinding. Whatever the reason, a root canal treatment will prevent the need for tooth extraction and future costly treatments.
Root canal symptoms often come in two waves. When the pulp becomes infected, early signs that you might need endodontic treatment include toothache, sensitive teeth to hot and cold foods, and pain when eating and drinking. When the infected pulp dies, these symptoms may temporarily subside – but don’t let that stop you seeing your dentist. When the infection spreads to the root canal, those early symptoms come back – this time accompanied by pain and swelling to the face and gums, and pus around the infected tooth, which will often appear dark in colour. In this scenario, contact us immediately.
You can carry on as normal once the anaesthetic has worn off, though the full healing period will take around a week – just be careful with what you eat, how you chew and maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine.