A root canal cavity is a significant component of a tooth. It houses the dental pulp that comprises the blood vessels and nerves that nourish the tooth and give it the necessary sensation. The microbes in the mouth can sometimes decay the dental pulp and put your entire oral health at risk. This condition is called a root canal infection and is known to be one of the most severe dental conditions.
What causes root canal infection?
The harmful bacteria present in the mouth is the leading cause behind a root canal infection. When the microbes enter the root canal cavity, they can infect the dental pulp and cause the tissues to decay. The bacteria can enter the root canal through deep cavities, cracks on the teeth, broken or worn out tooth surfaces, gum diseases, or other oral infections.
What are the symptoms?
- The decay of the tissues within the tooth can induce severe pain and hypersensitivity when you bite and chew food.
- Due to the decaying tissues, patients could experience severe bad breath.
- The gums around the infected tooth could discharge pus and bleed.
- The microbes from the root canal could reach the jawbone and cause deterioration. Due to this, the teeth may loosen from their sockets.
What does root canal treatment involve?
The best way to treat a root canal infected tooth is through root canal therapy. During this process, the dentist thoroughly cleans the teeth, places a rubber dam on them, and isolates the infected tooth. A small hole will be made on it to access the dental pulp. Thin dental files will be inserted through the hole, and the infected pulp will be extracted. A jet of water is used to rinse out the debris. The dentist places a small amount of antibacterial medication in the cavity and seals it off with a filling material.
The tooth loses nourishment when the pulp is removed. Hence, it could grow weak over the next few days and crack or crumble when you bite into anything too hard. A crown will be placed on the tooth to restore it to its ideal strength and prevent it from cracking.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (703) 461-3000 to have a consultation with our dentists, and we will be happy to help.