- September 22, 2016
There’s something about toothaches that make them uniquely painful. Just talking about toothaches can make people feel some anxiety and concern. Partially, that’s because the pain is both severe and cannot be quickly relieved. Sure, you can take some pain relievers to help. But it’s not like you can get rid of the infection just like that. Or can you?
Root canals can do just that. While it depends on the exact reason why you have a toothache, many are caused by a bacterial infection. Root canals at our Nashua, NH dental office can remove those infections, ending the toothache.
Why Bacteria Cause Toothaches
No matter how clean you keep your teeth and gums, there’s a good chance you have some harmful bacteria still there. They’re almost impossible to get rid of completely. They also live off of food particles that get trapped on your teeth and gums every time you eat. Brushing, flossing, and getting twice-yearly dental cleanings at our Nashua, NH dental office will help get rid of those food particles.
Why is that so important? Because these bacteria cause cavities. As they thrive, they secrete an acid that creates holes in your enamel. You don’t have any nerve endings in your enamel, so you won’t feel the cavity starting. That means it can be easily overlooked. That’s a problem because cavities tend to keep growing. As the cavity gets deeper, it reduces the enamel in between the world and the nerve endings deep inside your tooth. At this point, pressure can start to give you a toothache.
Then things can get worse. If the cavity breaks through the enamel, bacteria can slip inside your tooth. That’s home to your dental pulp, which has all of the nerve endings and blood vessels that your tooth needs. As the infection spreads through your dental pulp, it triggers your nerve endings. This almost always creates a powerful toothache. If the infection is not taken care off, it can kill off your tooth.
How Do Root Canals Help?
A root canal is the only way to get rid of a bacterial infection inside your tooth like that. In this restorative dentistry procedure, our team will gently and carefully remove the infection from your dental pulp. Unfortunately, this needs to be done sooner rather than later. If a root canal isn’t done in time, you could lose your tooth.
It will take a while to get to that point. In the meantime, you are probably facing a terrible toothache until either the tooth is removed or you get a root canal.
Here’s what happens in the standard root canal treatment.
- You have digital X-rays taken of your tooth. This helps our team identify where the infection is inside your tooth.
- Our team carefully cleans the tooth and the surrounding area. You’ll also get a local anesthetic to help eliminate any discomfort during the process.
- Our dentists will make a small opening in the tooth. Using special tools, they will carefully remove the infected pulp.
- An inert substance called gutta-percha is used to replace the removed pulp.
- The tooth is sealed, normally using a dental crown. The crown will look just like the tooth it’s covering, and it prevents reinfection later on.
Are root canals painful? Not anymore. There was a time when restorative dentistry didn’t have the tools needed to do root canals correctly. These days, local anesthetic and even dental sedation can help you get through. In fact, root canals are no more painful than getting a filling placed.
Here’s Why Root Canals Can Be Good For You
The benefits of root canals should be apparent by now. When you get rid of the bacterial infection in your dental pulp, you stop those nerves from being triggered. That strong toothache goes away. Root canals ultimately save an infected tooth from having to be removed. Dental extractions are routine at our Nashua, NH dental office, but keeping your natural teeth is always a good idea — at least when you can be pain-free.
Some worry that their tooth will be weaker following a root canal. The gutta-percha used to fill in the space helps support the enamel above it. The dental crown placed afterward also adds a layer of protection to the tooth. After a root canal, your tooth is often stronger than it was before.
Toothaches can have different causes. However, bacteria infecting your dental pulp is not just common, it’s dangerous. If you or a member of your family has a chronic toothache (or one that comes and goes), call us today at 603-546-7460. The sooner our dental team can see you for restorative dentistry, the sooner you can get rid of the pain.