A root canal is a dental procedure that is done to remove infected or damaged tissue from inside a tooth, in order to save the tooth from extraction. There are several reasons why you may need a root canal, including:
- Decay or cavities: If a tooth is heavily decayed, the bacteria from the decay can reach the nerve of the tooth, causing infection and inflammation.
- Trauma or injury: A blow or injury to a tooth can cause damage to the nerve and blood vessels inside the tooth.
- Repeat dental procedures: A tooth that has had multiple procedures done on it may develop an infection or inflammation in the pulp.
- Cracks or chips: A crack or chip in a tooth can also cause damage to the pulp.
- Abscess: An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms at the end of a tooth’s root, caused by a bacterial infection. This can cause severe pain, swelling and damage to the surrounding bone.
A root canal is done to remove the infected or damaged pulp and nerve from the tooth, to prevent the spread of the infection and to save the tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the tooth is cleaned, disinfected and sealed to prevent future infection. If a root canal is not done, the infection can spread and the tooth may need to be extracted.
It’s important to note that it’s not always easy to tell if you need a root canal, signs of needing a root canal can include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling or tenderness of the gums, or a darkening of the tooth. In case of any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult your dentist as soon as possible.