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treats the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth

Image by Lesly Juarez

What is a root canal

The root canal cavity is at the center of every tooth and holds the pulp.


The pulp consists of blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tooth and nerves that give it the sensation. But, when the pulp suffers an infection, it can put the entire tooth at risk of being extracted. This is called a root canal infection.


What are the symptoms of root canal infection?


Patients with root canal infection usually go through a lot of pain while biting and chewing food. Even brushing and flossing the teeth can be quite painful.


The infected tooth could become extremely sensitive to hot and cold foods. This can be felt as a sharp sensation in a particular tooth rather than all the teeth.


There is usually the release of pus from the gums near the infected tooth. Sometimes, the gums would bleed as well.


When the infection is left untreated for a long time, it could spread to the nearby teeth and gums as well. Over time, it may affect the underlying jawbone as well and lead to deterioration.


Due to jawbone deterioration, the infected tooth could loosen from its socket. In extreme cases, there could be tooth loss.


What causes a root canal infection?


External oral injuries: When the teeth crack or chip due to an external injury, there are significant changes for the tooth to develop root canal infection. This is especially possible if you do not get the tooth restored using a restoration.


Cavities: The leading cause of root canal infection is tooth decay. The microbes could decay the deeper layers of the tooth over time and infect the pulp as well.


Gum diseases: Gingivitis and periodontitis are among the most widely encountered gum diseases. They can disturb one's oral health to a severe extent and lead to root canal infection if not treated at the right time.


How can root canal infections be treated?


An endodontist is a dentist who explicitly treats root canal infections and any condition related to the dental pulp. A root canal therapy is considered the last resort treatment method to prevent a tooth from being extracted due to the infection. Hence, it holds a lot of prominence in the world of dentistry.


During the initial appointment, we would carefully screen the teeth and take x-rays of the mouth. This helps us analyze the structure of the jawbone and the extent of the decay within the root canal cavity as well. Next, you will be prepared for the treatment. The teeth will be disinfected to remove microbes from around the infected tooth.

Local anesthesia would be given to the gums to keep you from pain and discomfort during the procedure. A small hole is made on the tooth using high-precision dental instruments. Thin dental files will be used to remove the decayed pulp from the canals. Also, the walls of the cavity will be scrubbed to remove the adhered microbes. They will be washed off using a jet of water.


After the root canal therapy, the tooth could become weak due to the absence of nutrition. Due to this, it may crumble under high impact forces while biting or chewing food. Hence, we suggest restoring the tooth using a dental crown. This ensures your tooth is kept intact.

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