Root canal therapy is used to help save a tooth that has been damaged, and which has subsequently become infected. You may also hear this treatment referred to as endodontics. Before root canal treatment was devised dentists had no other option but to extract the tooth. Root canal therapy is routinely carried out at Leeds City Dentalcare using the very latest techniques and equipment.
Root canal therapy is necessary if the tooth has become infected, and this is something that can happen if bacteria have been able to access the inside of the tooth. Bacteria can penetrate the tooth if the outer layer of enamel has become damaged in some way, exposing the dentine underneath. Dentine is not as hard as enamel, and the bacteria will attack it causing decay.
Infected teeth can be very painful, as the infection can eventually spread through the dentine right to the centre of the tooth, an area called the pulp. This contains all the nerves and blood supply to the tooth, so it is little wonder it hurts when damaged. Symptoms of infection can include
- Toothache, which can be a dull ache, or a sharper pain
- Noticing the area of gum around the tooth is swollen or red
- You may develop a strange taste in your mouth
- It can hurt to bite down on the affected tooth
- Your tooth may feel very sensitive whenever you eat hot or cold food
Sometimes there may be very few symptoms, and almost no pain, or the toothache might seem to get better. This may simply mean the pulp has died so it can no longer cause any pain, but does not mean the infection has gone. This type of infection does need treatment to clear it up as it will not do so on its own. It is important that you make an appointment to visit Leeds City Dentalcare to find out why you had toothache so you can receive the appropriate treatment.
Possible Consequences of Ignoring a Tooth Infection
Infection can spread from the dead pulp right down into the tip of the root, creating an abscess. If you fail to seek treatment then there is the chance that the pus created by this infection will continue to build, and it will seek a way to drain out. The pus can drain into the tissues in the neck, and may even create problems with the heart, or it can drain into the brain, and in the worst case scenario will create neurological problems. Ignoring this condition can also lead to cysts developing right at the base of the tooth root, and cysts have the potential to cause extensive problems. They can weaken the jaw and may become infected, causing pain and swelling.
Dr David Brown or another our dentist at Leeds City Dentalcare can easily diagnose a dental abscess, and can provide treatment to drain the abscess and to clear the infection. It is likely that you will require dental x-rays so they can see whether or not the infection has damaged the surrounding bone. It may still be possible to treat the tooth, but sometimes it may be necessary to extract it so the abscess can drain through the socket.
Great dental care can prevent the need for root canal therapy and is easy to do. It only takes a few minutes each day to brush and floss your teeth, and you probably only need to visit our Leeds surgery twice a year for check-ups and professional cleanings. Some people may be more at risk of developing dental diseases and might need to visit more frequently, but preventative dental care can save time, money and pain.