Our teeth have multiple layers, such as the enamel, dentin, and the central root canal cavity. While the enamel and dentin are solid layers, the root canal is an empty cavity that is filled with the dental pulp. The pulp comprises blood vessels and nerves, which provide the teeth with the nourishment and sensation.
The root canal can develop an infection when the pulp is decayed or inflamed, leading to a painful and invasive oral condition. But, many patients who develop a root canal infection wouldn’t be aware of it and may consider it to be a minor inflammation that would eventually pass. This can increase the severity of the disease and even lead to tooth loss.
Cavities: The tartar deposited on the teeth can erode the enamel and cause cavities. When cavities are left untreated for a long time, they can advance to the deeper layers and infect the dental pulp, thereby leading to a root canal infection.
External trauma: When you sustain external trauma to the mouth, the teeth may break, crack, or chip. This could expose the underlying root canal cavity to the microbes in the mouth.
Gum diseases: Gum diseases like periodontitis can have severe symptoms as the microbes decay the gum tissues and affect the underlying jawbone. The bacteria can enter the root canal cavity through the tooth roots and cause an infection of the pulp.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is best you visit a dentist to have an oral diagnosis conducted:
Pain: When you bite and chew food or brush the teeth, the infected tooth will pain excessively.
Bleeding: The gums near the infected tooth may tend to bleed and discharge pus.
Discoloration: Since the underlying dental pulp gets decayed, the tooth could appear discolored.
Loosening of the tooth: In the more advanced stages, the jawbone could undergo deterioration. Due to this, the infected tooth may loosen from its socket.
The best way to treat a root canal infection is by removing the infected dental pulp. The dentist will make a small hole on the tooth and insert slender dental files in it. The files will be used to scrub the walls of the cavity and extract the infected pulp. A jet of water will be directed at the hole to remove the microbes and debris. Before sealing the hole with suitable filling material, a small amount of antimicrobial medication will be placed in the cavity to avoid reinfection. After a few days, the tooth will be restored using a ceramic crown to keep it from crumbling or cracking under severe forces.
Call us at (408) 732-5300/(408) 226-1600 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Mitbavkar, and we’ll be happy to assist you further.