A tooth that is severely infested by bacteria can often be remedied using a root canal. This is a procedure that is used to save a tooth that has sustained severe pulp and nerve damage due to a number of factors, such as advanced periodontal disease or severe decay. Other than have the tooth extracted, dentists will often attempt to clean the diseased area so as to halt the infection and help the tooth heal.

There are many different factors that can damage the pulp and nerves of a tooth, necessitating a root canal. If you are wondering if you are a candidate for the procedure, here is a look at some of the more common reasons for needing root canal treatment.

Pain and abscess

The most common sign that you may need a root canal is sharp pain on your infected tooth. When the tooth pulp is exposed, it experiences severe sensitivity when it comes into contact with cold or hot foods. The pain can also manifest spontaneously in the middle of the night or even when you are not using the infected tooth. If left untreated, the pain can progress to severe headaches and even cause an abscess.

An abscess refers to a deep infection inside the tooth that causes the pulp of the tooth to die and a pus pocket to form around the end of the root. Such a severe infection requires immediate treatment to avoid the infection from infiltrating the jawbone and causing severe swelling of the cheeks, gums, and jaw.

If you experience any severe tooth pain, visit a dentist for a thorough examination. If caught early, a pulp infection can be halted by performing a root canal treatment to remove all the dead tissue and bacteria inside the pulp chamber and root canals, thus preventing an abscess.

Deep cavity or fracture

Deep cavities allow for bacteria to infect the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth, leading to the tooth pulp becoming inflamed or turning into decayed tissue. The most effective way to remove all the diseased and dead tissue is to have a root canal performed, in which the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed with a crown to prevent further infection.  

Teeth can also sustain severe damage during traumatic accidents, resulting in fractures that reach deep inside the pulp and damage blood vessels and nerves. In such cases, dentists perform a root canal to remove the damaged tissue and to restore the tooth structure with a crown.

If you believe that you might need a root canal, contact a dentist such as Tony Parsley, DMD for an appointment. Soon your mouth will be pain free again.