Did you know you could need a root canal and not even know it? Most people think this common procedure is only needed for intense toothaches that keep you from eating, focusing, or even sleeping. However, you could need a root canal long before your tooth starts to bother you. The pain that requires a root canal is a signal that an infection has reached the sensitive nerves inside of your tooth, but that infection can be caught before it starts to cause you any kind of discomfort.
You can spot early warning signs of infection in your gums, but that infection can quickly spread and become painful. Root canals can quickly and effectively clear out the infection, so there’s no need to wait to get a root canal in Manahawkin.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Typically, a toothache that keeps you from eating, sleeping, or talking comfortably is an indicator that you might need a tooth canal. However, you can watch out for these symptoms of an infection that hasn’t gotten bad yet:
- Swelling, redness, or discoloration in your gums
- Extra sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- a pimple-like bump on your gumline
If you ignore these symptoms, the infection that is causing them will spread and may require a full tooth extraction.
How do Root Canals Work?
This infection comes from a buildup of harmful bacteria that can get through your tooth’s enamel and infect the pulp underneath. The pulp contains thousands of nerves and becomes extremely sensitive when attacked by bacteria.
The first step of a root canal is to dumb the infected area. For especially apprehensive patients, sedation dentistry may be available to make the experience as relaxing as possible. Then all the dead and infected pulp is removed, and the hollow of your tooth is filled and sealed to restore its original shape. Lastly, a dental crown is placed to prevent any infection from returning.
Caring for Your Teeth After a Root Canal
Now that the infection is gone, it’s important to keep it that way. Following basic oral hygiene practices will make sure that your tooth will heal completely and quickly:
- Be careful right after the procedure: don’t eat anything until the numbness subsides.
- Contact your dentist if you notice any redness or swelling.
- Continue to care for your tooth by brushing and flossing twice a day.
Don’t wait until you’re in pain to talk to your dentist about root canals. Be on the lookout for symptoms so you can catch an infection early and take care of it.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Young is a graduate of the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry and has been named by Consumer Report as a top dentist for the last ten years. For the past thirty years he has been serving the Manahawkin and emphasizes preventive dentistry to help his patients identify and treat infections that require root canals. He can be contacted through his website or at (609) 597-1830.