A root canal infection occurs when a tooth gets so badly decayed that the pulp in the root canal cavity gets infected. This can cause several complications such as the spread of the infection to the gums, deterioration of the tip of the roots, tooth loss, etc.
A root canal therapy is widely considered as the last resort procedure to save a badly infected tooth from being extracted. Our dental team has performed numerous root canal therapies for patients over the years with great efficiency, and this has made our dental practice one of the most preferred places for a root canal in Walnut Creek, CA.
What are the causes and symptoms of a root canal infection?
Some of the common causes of a root canal infection are as follows:
- Tooth decay: When a tooth gets badly infected due to cavities, it could progress on to the pulp in the root canal if left untreated.
- Gum diseases: The accumulated plaque and tartar on the teeth could cause gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. During the later stages, the infection could progress on to the teeth and infect the pulp.
- External trauma: An injury to the mouth could crack, or even fracture the teeth. When they aren’t properly restored to their natural state, the bacteria in the mouth could enter the pulp through the cracks and cause a root canal infection.
The symptoms include:
- Pain in the infected tooth and the surrounding gums
- Release of pus and formation of an abscess
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- The infected tooth experiences elevated levels of sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- The tooth may loosen from its socket
- In extreme conditions, the root of the tooth may deteriorate and also lead to jawbone deterioration
How is a root canal therapy performed?
The procedure starts with a thorough screening of the teeth and the surrounding gums to determine the extent of infection. The teeth will be cleaned to get rid of the microbes before starting the surgery. Local anesthesia will be administered to prevent pain and discomfort.
A small hole will be made on the tooth to gain access to the root canal cavity. The infected pulp will be removed using dental files and the walls of the cavity will be scrubbed to remove the adhered microbes. The debris will be rinsed away using a jet of water and a small amount of antibiotic will be placed in the tooth to avoid further infections. Usually, a restoration, such as a crown, will be placed on the tooth to hold it intact and prevent it from crumbling.
Post-treatment, consumption of very hot, cold or spicy foods should be avoided as it could cause irritation near the treated tooth. Maintaining optimum oral hygiene is essential to prevent any re-infection in the future.
Call us at (925) 933-0677 or schedule an online appointment to learn more about root canal therapy.