A root canal infection is a commonly encountered oral issue that involves the inflammation of the pulp within a tooth. Every tooth houses a central cavity that contains blood vessels, nerves and other matter that are essential for the tooth. They are responsible for the nourishment and the sensation of the tooth.
What causes a root canal infection?Plaque and tartar: Plaque and tartar are, by far, the biggest cause of a root canal infection. The microbes in the tartar erode the enamel and gain access into the root canal cavity. They infect the pulp and cause inflammation.External trauma: An injury to the mouth can crack or even fracture the teeth, allowing the microbes in the mouth to enter the pulp through the crack. This can start an infection in the root canal cavity.Gum diseases: Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, if left untreated for long, can cause a root canal infection.
What are its symptoms?
- Bleeding and release of pus from the gums
- Loosening of the tooth from its socket
- Extreme pain while brushing and chewing food
- Bone deterioration
- Extreme sensitivity to hot, cold and spicy foods
How is root canal therapy performed?
A non-surgical root canal therapy is the last resort method to save a badly infected tooth. The dentist would visually inspect it to determine whether or not it can be saved by the treatment. The tooth will be cleaned thoroughly and prepared for the therapy. The dentist gains access to the root canal cavity via a hole made on the tooth surface. The infected pulp will be carefully extracted and the walls of the cavity will be scrubbed to get rid of the microbes.
After the infected tissues are removed completely, a small amount of medication will be placed in the cavity to prevent reinfection. Since the tooth wouldn’t have any sort of nourishment, it would tend to get weaker with time. Hence, a restoration will be placed on the tooth to hold it intact and prevent it from failing (dental crown or filling).