Tooth infection is a common occurrence that can cause great discomfort if left untreated. It can even lead to serious side effects, some of which can be life threatening. If you are experiences symptoms of an infected tooth, you should visit an endodontist for proper diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment.
Causes of Tooth Infection
A tooth infection typically occurs when the hard, protective outer layers of the tooth are damaged, allowing bacteria to enter the soft interior, known as the pulp. This collection of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue helps keep your tooth alive by supplying it with oxygen, nutrients, and the ability to sense pressure and temperature. Because these tissues are so sensitive, infection in this area can be extremely uncomfortable.
The most common causes of tooth infection include:
- Severe trauma that breaks off a tooth
- Severe decay that penetrates to the tooth interior
- Cracks due to previous dental work
- Cracks due to trauma
If you experience extreme discomfort, extreme sensitivity, persistent headaches, persistent toothaches, or aches in the ear, see your dentist or endodontist to find out if you have a tooth infection.
Treatment for Tooth Infection
The most common treatment for tooth infection is root canal therapy. In this treatment, your endodontist removes all the infected tissue from the tooth’s interior and smooths the inside surfaces so bacteria will be less likely to adhere. The now empty root canal cavity is sterilized, filled, and then sealed. Your tooth will be fitted with a crown to maintain the necessary strength for normal biting and chewing.
With a root canal treatment, you can keep your tooth, though it is no longer able to experience sensation and no longer has a blood supply. The other treatment option is simply to remove the tooth, but with the help of your endodontist, you can maintain your natural smile and avoid the complications and expenses of tooth replacement. With the infection completely eliminated, your tooth should serve you well far into the future.
If you’re concerned about a tooth, contact us at Access Endodontics today!