Is that stubborn pain radiating from your tooth refusing to go away? You could be in need of a root canal procedure.

Sensitivity in your teeth is known for being unpredictable. With pain lessening or intensifying throughout the day particularly when you are trying to enjoy your favourite hot food or cold liquid, it’s hard to stay on top of it.

You might even notice some swelling in the gums near the offending side which makes you cringe (and squeal) when touched. All these are alarming signs point in one direction – that you may need an endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal treatment.

Yes, mums, the daunting thought of root canal pains are real and is certainly a problem you do not need when hustling the everyday chores of family life. Fortunately, the remedy is simple. A root canal is an effective treatment used to treat a tooth that is severely damaged or infected.

What Are The Causes Of Root Canal Pain?

Many possible causes can expose a tooth to infection and result in root canal pain. These include:

–  Repeated dental procedures on the tooth

–  Faulty crown or filling

–  Chipped tooth

–  Injury to the tooth due to impact

When any of the above happens, the outer layers of your tooth may slowly erode without notice and your tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp become exposed and damaged through time. The bacteria then seep into the cavity and begin to multiply causing inflammation and abscess to form.

What Is The Procedure?

Your dentist would examine your tooth and arrange for X-rays to be taken on the day of the appointment to diagnose the cause of your pain. Depending on the results of the X-ray, your dentist will discuss the options with you and may recommend a root canal treatment or even refer to you to visit an endodontist, a highly skilled dental specialist on nerve damage to the teeth.

Your dentist will first numb the area around the tooth. The crown of your tooth will then be opened, and the nerve and infected pulp be removed. The gap will then be cleaned before being sealed with a temporary filling to protect the interior of the tooth while it is healing.

The whole treatment does not take long and may finish within the hour. You will need to revisit the dentist to have the temporary filling removed, and permanent crown placed. There are, of course, cases where more visits are required due to the complexity of the case. However, those are the exceptions and not the norm.

What To Expect After The Treatment

It is natural for the tissue to be inflamed and the tooth area to feel sensitive after the treatment. This can easily be controlled with over the counter painkillers.  Until the tooth is fully restored, i.e., the filling permanently set, minimise using the tooth to avoid contamination. Then, resume your oral care routine of brushing, flossing and using antiseptic mouthwash regularly and visit your dentist at the scheduled time.

What Are The First Steps To Take?

Remember, if left untreated, the infection can cause even more problems such as:

a)        Visible swelling spreading to your jaw, other areas of face and neck

b)        Tooth decay leading to bone loss

c)        Abscesses draining into gums

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately. You definitely do not want to go down the path of no return!

If the pain is too much to bear, request whether emergency care can be recommended right away. Meanwhile, apply an ice pack to the outside of your jaw to relieve the pain and swelling. Once the root canal procedure is done, you will be able to enjoy food and drink as freely as before.

Have you had root canal treatment? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments.

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