A root canal is the hollow part of your tooth that contains blood vessels, nerve tissues, and other cells. Therefore, a root canal procedure refers to therapy that focuses on the inside of the tooth. During the procedure, your dentist will extract bacteria, decay, and any infection in the tooth pulp, root, and nerves.
They will also fill empty roots, disinfect the tooth with antibiotics, and seal the treated area to prevent a new infection. The following are three reasons your dentist might recommend a root canal.
One of the primary reasons a dentist will perform a root canal procedure is if you have tooth decay. When decay advances, bacteria penetrate the inside of your tooth or pulp. This causes an infection in the bone.
Over time, the infection damages your nerves. However, you may not show any symptoms that indicate you have an infection. Your dentist will have to perform an x-ray to determine the extent of the infection. If left untreated, the abscess or infection can grow and eat the bone in your jaw. The infection can further spread to your whole body. This is why your dentist will either remove your tooth or perform a root canal procedure.
When your pulp is infected, your tooth may become discolored. This is because trauma to your tooth damages the roots and gives your tooth a grayish-black appearance. Tooth discoloration is often visible in the front teeth.
In advanced cases, the pulp can die because there is an insufficient blood supply. Sometimes tooth discoloration is a symptom of pulpitis. Since tooth discoloration may be caused by many other factors, you will need to see a dentist if your tooth starts to change color.
Tooth sensitivity can arise when your enamel is damaged or your roots are exposed. Tooth decay is one of the main causes of tooth sensitivity because it forms small holes in your tooth's enamel. Brushing your teeth too hard also wears down your enamel and causes sensitivity. Acid erosion can also cause sensitivity. This occurs when acidic foods, like lemons, erode your enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin layer.
Gum disease also leads to tooth sensitivity because bacteria can accumulate in your gum pockets, destroy healthy tissue, and leave your tooth roots exposed. Apart from tooth discoloration, infection in your pulp can also result in tooth sensitivity. This is because the infection spreads to the nerve tissues. When you notice one or several of your teeth becoming sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food, you should see a dentist.
For more information, contact your local dentist.