It used to be that when someone said root canal, you would inwardly cringe. With the practices and technology of today though, that is not the case. A root canal is a type of treatment that is used to try to repair and even save a tooth that has been decayed badly or has become infected. In the procedure, the pulp and nerve of the tooth are taken out so that the inside or your tooth and be cleaned and then sealed. However, if this is left untreated, the tissue that surrounds the tooth can also become infected and even form abscesses.
Root Canal is actually the term that is used to describe the naturally formed cavity in the very center of your tooth. The pulp chamber is the soft, inner area in the root canal and that is where the nerve is. When it comes to the nerve of the tooth, this is not a vitally critical component in regards to the function and health of the tooth. In fact, the only thing that it does is sense temperature. The absence or presence of the nerve has no impact on the function of the tooth at all.
If it is determined that you need a root canal, you might be wondering if the pulp actually needs to be removed from your tooth. The thing is, when the nerve tissue of your tooth gets damaged, it can break down and allow for bacteria to multiply in the pulp chamber. This bacteria along with other debris that is decayed can cause you to get an infection in that tooth or even cause it to become abscessed. An abscess is not something anyone wants. This is when a pus filled pocket is formed right at the root of the tooth. In addition to leading to an abscess, a tooth infection in the root canal can also cause things like the following:
- Swelling that can spread to various area of your head, neck and face
- Bone loss right around the very end of the root of the tooth
- Drainage problems that can extend from the root. It can actually make a hole in the side of your tooth where the pus can drain into your gums or cheek with more drainage into the skin
Needless to say, in this case the symptoms are worse than the cure. If you are having issues with a tooth, talk to the friendly staff here at Beyond Smiles to see what can be done for you.