Nerve issues in the tooth can cause extreme discomfort. If you are experiencing severe sensitivity, you should see your dentist or our endodontist to see if you might need root canal therapy. If you do have problems with the tooth nerve or pulp, this treatment will preserve the tooth so it does not have to be extracted.
Issues with the Tooth Nerve
Each individual tooth has nerve tissue that transmits sensory information. Though the nerve is not necessary for the tooth to function, it allows you to feel heat, cold, and pressure. If the nerve is damaged, you might experience toothaches or extreme sensitivity. An endodontist can evaluate the problem to determine if you need root canal therapy.
Damage to the tooth nerve is most commonly caused by:
- Severe decay
- Numerous procedures on the same tooth
- Large fillings
- Cracking or chipping
The tooth nerve can be directly damaged, or infection can migrate into the tooth through breaks or cracks in the tooth enamel, or through an existing cavity.
Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Infection in the tooth pulp can lead to major complications. These can include abscesses at the tips of the tooth roots. Bone at the tips of the roots can be lost as well. The infection can move through the tooth roots into the jawbone, facial bones, sinuses, or other areas, including the brain. This type of widespread infection can be extremely serious.
Root canal therapy helps avoid these severe side effects. Your endodontist removes all the infected tissue from the tooth’s interior and replaces it with a sterile compound. The tooth is then treated with a dental crown to ensure it remains usable. If necessary, the endodontist might use a medicinal treatment on the tooth’s interior before sealing it. You might also receive antibiotics. The whole procedure is similar to receiving a filling, and will enable you to keep your tooth. Without the root canal therapy, an infected tooth would probably have to be extracted.
To keep your teeth whole and healthy, come and see us by calling our office to set up an appointment.