Toothaches are often a sign of a cavity, but they can also be an indication of something more. Cavities form in the outer layers of a tooth and can cause discomfort. However, toothaches can also be caused by the spread of infection to the soft pulp tissue at the center of a tooth that extends down into the canals of the root as well. A root canal alleviates pain by clearing away the infected pulp. The skilled dentists at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, perform root canals to treat toothaches and preserve teeth.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
Several symptoms can develop when you need a root canal. A severe or persistent toothache is one possible sign. Other signs that root canal treatment might be needed include:
- Pain or sensitivity when biting and chewing food
- Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
- Tenderness or swelling of the gums near the affected tooth
- Ongoing sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- The formation of an abscess in the gums
If you experience any of these systems, one of the experienced dentists at our office in Salem, NH, can determine if a root canal or another type of treatment is needed.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment might sound scary to some people, but it is not much different than having a cavity filled. Plus, once the procedure is done, your toothache and other symptoms will be eliminated. In addition to alleviating pain, other benefits of root canal treatment include strengthening the affected tooth, restoring tooth functioning, and preserving your tooth so extraction can be avoided. A root canal also helps stop the infection from spreading to other areas of the mouth.
Root canal treatment is performed by creating a small opening in the tooth so the dentist can reach the inner layer and remove the infected pulp. Afterward, the chamber of the tooth and the canals of the root are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. It is then filled in with a biocompatible material. Finally, the tooth is sealed to prevent infection from developing again in the future. In some cases, a dental crown might be placed over the treated tooth to further strengthen and protect it.
Root canal treatment can alleviate your toothache and help you avoid having your tooth extracted. Schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained dentists to find out if you need a root canal by calling Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, at (603) 893-4538.