Root Canal Treatment


Toothache can sometimes be so intense it causes severe pain. When this occurs, it is important to see a dentist or endodontist to determine what the cause could be so the problem can be treated appropriately. In an emergency situation there are many possible reasons for tooth pain, so it is important to speak with your dentist right away to determine correct cause. Spending time trying to simply manage the pain while ignoring the cause can lead to increased tooth damage. If you are unsure whether or not you should contact your dentist or endodontist for an appointment, you may want to consider the symptoms. Some specific symptoms that may suggest root canal therapy is needed include:

  • Severe pain when chewing or applying pressure to teeth
  • Ongoing intense toothache even when teeth are resting
  • Tooth sensitivity and pain related to heat or cold
  • Tooth sensitivity to sweets
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum swelling near the affected tooth
  • An abscess or pimple on the gum area near the tooth
  • Persistent bad taste in the mouth

One of the reason for many of these symptoms is that a cavity has been allowed, to reach all the way to the pulp of the tooth and an infection has occurred. This can injure the tooth and will may cause severe pain. An endodontist is a specialist who works specifically with the treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

When a cavity is left untreated, the pulp inside the tooth can become infected. When this happens, the tooth cannot heal on its own and will continue to worsen and may even weaken the entire immune system. When this happens, it is necessary to complete a root canal so the pulp can be cleaned out to allow the tooth to heal. If you suspect you have a severe cavity or may be in need of a root canal, it is important to contact a dentist or endodontist right away.

What is pulp?

Tooth pulp is the material that exists inside the tooth. It is known as the soft area within the center of the tooth. The tooth’s nerves lie within the root canals which travel from the tip of the tooth’s root into the pulp chamber. In addition to the tooth nerves, tooth pulp also harbors blood vessels and certain connective tissue to bring oxygen and nutrients to the tooth.

What is the tooth nerve?

The tooth nerve is the sensory component of the tooth. In a grown adult tooth, its only function is to provide the sensation of hot or cold to the brain. A tooth can still function day to day without nerves a blood supply. This is what makes a root canal a viable option treating infected or painful teeth

What is done with the interior of a tooth is infected or damaged?

When the pulp or nerve of the tooth becomes infected a root canal may be necessary. If left untreated, the tooth pulp can break down and allow bacteria to grow within it. This is what causes an infection in the tooth that can lead to an abscess, severe pain, and a weakened immune system. During root canal therapy, the tooth pulp is removed along with the damaged nerve, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, filled, and sealed to enable healing and prevent any further infection.