Severe pain in one of your teeth is often a sign of extensive tooth decay. Though seeing your dentist when you know there is something wrong can be scary, it is important that they remove the infection before it spreads to the bone and causes further damage. The most common treatment for extensive tooth decay is root canal therapy. At 50th and France Dental Care, we understand that many people associate root canals with pain, but most of our patients are in less pain after the root canal than they were before.
What is a Root Canal?
When tooth decay has spread past the enamel and dentin and has reached the center of your tooth, called the pulp, a root canal is necessary to remove the infection. The reason many people feel so much pain when they have this level of tooth decay is because all of the nerves are located in the pulp of your tooth. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will numb the gum, if necessary, and drill through the top of the tooth into the pulp. They will then remove all of the infected pulp and place a filling into the tooth to protect it from further damage.
Why do I Need a Root Canal?
- Pain – People often need a root canal when they are experiencing a lot of pain in one tooth, especially when chewing or putting pressure on it. It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible for treatment to not only stop the pain, but to prevent the infection from spreading to the bone.
- Discoloration – When decay has reached the center of the tooth, it will often kill the nerve endings, killing the tooth. If the nerves are dead, the tooth can start to darken and become discolored, which is a good sign that it is time to see the dentist.
- Gum pain – If the gums are sensitive in one specific area, or there is a small bump near the tooth that is causing you pain, you will most likely need a root canal. This is often a sign that the infection has reached the root of your tooth.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Root canals can often be avoided by seeing your dentist regularly. During cleanings and exams, your dentist should be able to catch early signs of tooth decay and reverse the infection before it causes too much damage. If you live in the area and would like more information on root canals or to schedule an exam, please contact the dentists in our Edina, MN office today!