Root Canals

Have Infected Teeth or Swollen Gums? A Root Canal May Be The Solution

Teeth become infected when the pulp is exposed to bacteria. The pulp is a soft tissue made up of nerves, arteries and veins located in the center of the tooth. The pulp extends from the area in the center of the tooth called the chamber, down through narrow channels called the root canals, to the tips of the roots. The two most common causes of infection in the pulp are deep cavities and broken teeth. Both expose the pulp to bacteria that live in saliva. These bacteria, which are always present in your mouth, can cause an infection that can kill the pulp.

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Infected Teeth Never Heal On Their Own

Without treatment, the pus from the infection can eventually gather down at the root rip and pass into the jaw bone, causing an abscess. The abscess can then damage the bane that surrounds the tooth. The resulting pressure inside the bone and ligaments surrounding the tooth can cause excruciating pain, and left untreated, can even be life threatening. Symptoms can vary. The infected tooth may become sensitive to hot and cold, be swollen and painful, or give you a bad taste in your mouth. On the other hand, someone may be completely unaware of the infection because there can be no symptoms at all.

As it gets worse it will continue to be a source of infection that depletes your immune system, which can affect your entire body. Years ago your only option would be to extract the tooth. But today the tooth can be saved with root canal therapy. Root canal therapy removes the infected pulp and allows the abscess to heal. An opening is made in the top of the tooth down into the pulp chamber. Tiny instruments are used to carefully remove the infected tissue and shape the root canals to receive a filling material. X-rays are taken to be sure that all of the infected pulp in removed then the canals are filled with a restorative material. The hole in the tooth is then filled and the tooth prepared for a permanent crown. The crown gives the tooth strength to hold up under the daily forces of chewing.

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