Pain in the tooth is often the first sign that tooth decay, or infection has penetrated the exterior of the tooth and is now in the pulp (interior) of the tooth. But you’ll need a dentist to confirm the source of the pain. Keep in mind that pain, although the most common, and often noticeable symptom of severe decay or infection, it’s not the only warning sign. Here’s what to know about signs you need a root canal, and what to expect during the procedure.
Signs of an Infected Tooth
A tooth that has severe decay is at risk of developing an infection or an abscess. If infection takes hold in a tooth, you’re liable to experience symptoms including:
- Pulsing, throbbing pain in the tooth
- Pain that radiates through the jaw, face, neck, or ear
- New onset of sensitivity to hot or cold food
- Sensitivity from hold or cold foods that lasts after you’re done eating or drinking
- Swelling in your face
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pain when chewing or biting into food
- Darkening of the tooth (discoloration)
- Swollen gum
- Pimple on the gum that doesn’t go away or returns
- General unwell feeling
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek dental treatment as soon as possible. An infected tooth requires treatment with a root canal, to save the tooth.
Root Canal: What to Expect
When you visit your dentist for treatment for tooth pain, they will use imaging technology such as digital X-rays to confirm decay or infection. If your dentist confirms that the decay in your tooth is too large to be treated with a filling, or if there are any signs of infection in your tooth, you will be scheduled for a root canal.
Before the procedure begins your dentist will numb the area around the tooth that will be treated. Nervous, anxious, or fearful patients may also be offered sedation options to put you at ease during the procedure.
Once the area is completely numb, a small hole will be drilled into the tooth. This hole will allow your dentist to access the interior chamber of your tooth, known as the pulp. The infected pulp will be removed along with all decay. The entire chamber will be cleaned, disinfected, and medicated if an infection is present. Then the chamber will be filled, and a temporary crown will be put on your tooth.
The process of getting a root canal is not painful and doesn’t take much longer than getting a dental filling. Once your custom crown is ready, you’ll return to the dentist for permanent bonding (generally within a couple of weeks).
Risks of Delaying Treatment for Tooth Pain
It is important not only to your oral health but to your overall health that you seek treatment for a toothache as soon as possible. Untreated infections in the teeth can lead to health problems including spreading inflammation and infections. In worst cases, untreated oral infections may lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
It’s also important to note that an infected tooth will not heal on its own. If you do not seek treatment for an infected tooth, you will experience prolonged pain, and ultimately the tooth will be lost. A root canal is a quick treatment that allows you to save your natural tooth, and prevent added expenses for a tooth restoration such as a dental implant or dental bridge in the future.
Schedule Treatment for Tooth Pain in Morganville
If you’re experiencing any tenderness, swelling, discoloration, or pain in your teeth or gums, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Contact us today by calling 732-972-0918, or feel free to request an appointment online.