Monday, March 18, 2013

Your teeth are so sensitive!

root canals.
(Endodontic therapy)


a specific treatment for disease of the dental pulp involving removal of the nerve and other tissues from the pulp cavity and the replacement with filling material. []

I know what you're thinking after reading that definition, "I'm sorry; what?" So I'm going to break down what exactly a root canal is. 

the tooth.

All of your teeth are "alive." They all contain nerves and blood vessels within the pulp chamber. 

A tooth is no longer considered vital when the pulp is damaged due to...

  • Untreated tooth decay (that cavity your dentist told you he wanted to fill 11 months ago.)
  • Trauma (getting hit in the mouth with a baseball.)

Once either of these conditions happen, a root canal is no longer an option; it is necessary in order to save the tooth

the symptoms.

When a tooth has been compromised by tooth decay or trauma, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Pain when biting down and/or chewing.
  • Throbbing pain 
  • Sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods and beverages.
  • Noticeable facial or cheek swelling.
the diagnosis.

After coming in and describing your symptoms to your dentist, he or she will do one or all of the following things: 

  • Take a radiograph (x-ray) to see how damaged the tooth is above and below the gum line. 
  • Perform a percussion test. Your dentist will tap on your tooth with the handle of his or her mouth mirror. If you feel pain when he or she taps that's a sign your tooth may need a root canal.  
Once the need for a root canal is determined the process of clearing the infection and damaged nerve tissues can begin! 

Take note! A tooth requiring a root canal should not be ignored! Sometimes there are no symptoms and if you're not seeing your dentist regularly, a serious infection could go unnoticed for years! By that time abscesses can form and the infection can migrate into the jaw bone which will require major oral surgery.  

If you feel that you may need a root canal please call our office to make an appointment! 


For information on this and other dental issues check out our website: 

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