Has one of your teeth been feeling a little off lately? Unfortunately, our mouths aren’t impenetrable to harm. While tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body, it’s not always able to fend off problems.
Your enamel is the outermost layer of a tooth. It makes your teeth look white, and protects them from external forces and bacteria. Within your enamel is the dentin, a softer layer that typically makes up the majority of the tooth. And within the dentin is the pulp, a collection of tooth nerves and living cells. When this pulp is compromised, the tooth can become infected. And an infection is no laughing matter.
Read on for a guide to managing tooth infections – from identifying the problem to treating it with a root canal. If you think you’re experiencing a problem, don’t hesitate – contact Maryland Family Dentistry right away. We could be able to handle the problem before it grows even more serious (and requires tooth extraction to solve).
How Do I Spot an Infected Tooth?
Infected teeth are typically incredibly painful. You’ll know that something is wrong – but you can’t procrastinate in seeking treatment. Some other signs include
- Swelling at the gum line
- Pimple-like sores on the gums
- Intense sensitivity to hot or cold
- Darkening of the tooth to brown or black
- Pain when chewing
- Swelling in the neck
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
Because your mouth is interconnected with other parts of the body, an infected tooth can cause large-scale problems. If left untreated, the infection can spread through the tooth root, affecting the bloodstream and bone at the site. Don’t hold back out of fear of pain – chances are, with an infected tooth, you’re already suffering. And, believe it or not, root canals are not as scary as you think.
Root Canal Treatment in Columbia
You’ve probably heard some fearsome things about root canals. Fact of the matter is, endodontic therapy is actually quite similar to the standard filling procedure. We will drill a small hole in the lingual (tongue-facing) side of the tooth, through which the tooth’s infected pulp will be removed. You will receive local anesthesia prior, so that you are numb during treatment. Throughout the process, we will take x-rays to ensure that we have successfully removed all of the pulp. Once your tooth is clean, we will fill it and seal the entry hole.
After a root canal, your tooth will technically be dead. This means that it will no longer feel any sensation, freeing you from the pain and stress you experienced while it was infected. But because it has lost its nerves, your tooth may need a crown in order to survive biting and chewing forces. Root canals are meant to be conservative, and our ultimate aim is to save that tooth’s structure.
Other Options for Restoring Teeth
If your tooth’s infection has grown too serious, it will need to be extracted. Once the tooth roots have been compromised, the tooth is lost. If this is the case, we’ll remove the tooth and then rebuild it, from the ground up. With the aid of a dental implant, we’ll be able to replace the missing tooth root. That implant can then be paired with a crown or a bridge.
No matter your restorative needs, there’s a way to return your mouth to health – and we’re ready to help you find it. Get in touch with our office to schedule an appointment and seek relief. There’s no reason to wait.