Almost everyone experiences oral pain at some point in their life. As a baby, you experienced it as your first teeth emerged into place. Throughout adulthood, you’ve probably felt pain after a wayward piece of food nicked your gums or you bit your tongue while chewing. While all of the above are painful, it is often short-lived. Your gums and tongue are fast healing tissues, and you’ll usually be pain-free in three to four days.
Unfortunately, not all oral pain resolves on its own. If you have persistent tooth pain that just won’t go away, you may need a root canal. Despite their negative reputation, millions of people undergo root canal treatment every year.
The Mosaic Dental team has the experience and expertise to treat an array of dental problems. Use the tips below as a guide for when you should head to the dentist for solutions to your tooth pain with a root canal.
Root canal basics
At the center of your teeth is a tissue called pulp. Pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and plays a vital role in the development of your teeth. Unfortunately, sometimes the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflamed pulp can cause swelling where the tooth connects to the gum leading to abscesses, which are pus-filled pockets that can spread if left untreated. During a root canal treatment, the infected pulp is removed.
Myths have caused root canals to have a reputation as one of the most painful dental procedures out there. In reality, the procedure is no more painful than having a cavity filled. Most of the pain comes before the procedure from the infected pulp before the root canal.
It’s estimated that one in eight people suffer from sensitive teeth. Not all of these people need a root canal, but infected or inflamed pulp can be the source of sensitivity. If eating a popsicle or drinking hot coffee is painful even after you’ve finished them, you may need a root canal.
Much like with temperature sensitivity, a tooth infection can also have you clutching your jaw any time you bite down or apply pressure. Does eating a sandwich or simply brushing your teeth send waves of pain through your mouth and jaw? If so, you need to come see us at Mosaic Dental.
Cracked, damaged teeth are more likely to become inflamed or infected. Although the damage may appear to be surface-level, anything strong enough to crack a tooth can damage the pulp inside. Cracks also may open the door for bacteria to enter, potentially causing an infection.
Discoloration and swelling of the gums and teeth
Swollen gums could be a sign of problems below the surface. You should come see us if you have prolonged swelling that doesn’t go away. Additionally, if your tooth is discolored or darkened, a damaged pulp is the most likely cause.