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Save Your Tooth with Root Canal Therapy

Man with pained facial expressionThe body experiences different kinds of pain. For example, there’s chronic and acute, throbbing or sharp and sudden or gradual. In any case, pain is the body’s way of telling you that something needs attention. A toothache can run the gamut of descriptions. If something is stuck between two teeth, then there may be uncomfortable pressure. You may be able to remedy this on your own with floss.

However, a severely painful toothache can interfere with your ability to sleep at night or carry on your normal daily activities. If this happens, call you Pensacola dentist Dr. Hodges immediately. The problem may be an infected tooth, in which case root canal therapy will be necessary to remove the infection and preserve the tooth.

What Causes an Infected Tooth?

Teeth are very hard. In fact, each tooth is covered in enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. So how can something so well protected become infected?

The human mouth is filled with millions of bacteria. Normally, these troublemakers are kept out of the interior of each tooth thanks to enamel and dentin, the substance just beneath the outer layer. However, if you happen to have an untreated cavity or a deep crack or break in a tooth, then bacteria can migrate to the center of the tooth, which is called the pulp chamber.

Symptoms of an Infected Tooth

As bacteria invade and infection begins, inflammation inside the tooth typically causes intense pain. However, Dr. Hodges has seen patients who do not experience pain with an infected tooth. Nevertheless, treatment is still vitally important. Therefore, regular dental checkups that allow us to collect digital x-rays help to continuously ensure the health of your teeth.

Other symptoms of tooth infection include tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, facial swelling, and a raised sore on gum tissue near the tooth.

The Root Canal Procedure

Some people mistakenly believe that root canal therapy is painful. In fact, the procedure is designed to eliminate pain. First, Dr. Hodges anesthetizes the tooth and surrounding tissue. Then a small hole is drilled in the tooth through which special instruments are inserted to remove the infection, debris and the entire contents of the chamber and attached root canals. The voided space is disinfected and filled with a safe, biocompatible substance. Finally, the tooth is tightly sealed to prevent recontamination and prepared to receive a porcelain crown.

Dr. Hodges may prescribe an antibiotic to ensure that the infection is completely eliminated. A few weeks after your root canal, you’ll return to have the dentist in Pensacola attach the crown that supports and protects the remaining tooth structure.