When a tooth becomes infected or badly inflamed, it's usually related to the nerves in the root(s) of the tooth. The most common causes for the nerve becoming involved are trauma to the tooth, such as a chipped or fractured tooth exposing the nerve or a cavity that has grown large and is too close to the nerve. A root canal is a tooth saving procedure that involves removing the infected nerve tissue, cleaning the canal(s), and sealing/off the canal(s). If left untreated the infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw. An abscess can also spread to neighboring teeth if it's not taken care of in a timely manner. Please let your dentist know if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below. A tooth that has had root canal treatment is generally weaker and more brittle. If the tooth is in a strong part of your bite, a crown will often be recommended to protect the tooth from fracturing and protect against reinfection.
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Tenderness to touch and chewing
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Tenderness in lymph nodes as well as bone and gum tissues
- A pimple like lesion on the gums that has drainage or pus