Could pain or change in the appearance in your tooth mean you might need a root canal? The therapy can save at-risk teeth and keep your smile full and healthy. General dentist Dr. Joel Bookout helps his Chattanooga, TN, patients care for their oral health with root canals, fillings, checkups, and other services.
Root canals address ominous changes that occur deep inside teeth
The center of every tooth is filled with a soft mass of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue called pulp. Although pulp is protected by the harder dentin and enamel layers of your teeth, it can become infected or inflamed in some cases. If an inflammation or infection occurs, you'll need a root canal to prevent the loss of your tooth.
During a root canal, the pulp is removed and replaced with a rubber-based filling. The therapy also involves cleaning and shaping the root canals that extend from your roots to the top of your tooth. Your tooth will function normally despite the removal of the pulp, although you'll probably need a dental crown to protect your treated tooth.
Signs that may indicate that a root canal is in your future
Pain is one of the more obvious signs that there's something wrong with your tooth. Some people experience constant pain, while others notice that their pain seems to come and go. If you have constant or intermittent pain, it's important to schedule a visit with your Chattanooga, TN, general dentist.
If you need a root canal, you may notice that it's painful to eat or drink certain foods. The moment you place hot or cold foods or beverages in your mouth, you may experience sharp pain that can last for as long as 30 minutes. The simple act of chewing can also increase pain if you need a root canal.
The appearance of your mouth and tooth may also offer a few clues. Inflammation can spread from your tooth to your gum, causing it to become red and swollen. Your tooth may also darken if a nerve inside the pulp begins to die.
Some people need root canals if they've injured a tooth, while others require the therapy due to a dental abscess. An abscess is a bacterial infection that causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including facial swelling, fever, swollen lymph nodes, a bump on the gum, or pus around the tooth. Abscesses are dental emergencies that require immediate treatment to prevent the spread of the infection.
Protect your smile with root canal therapy. Call Chattanooga, TN, general dentist Dr. Joel Bookout at (423) 698-3607 if you've noticed any of these symptoms.