Known as endodontic therapy, a root canal is the removal of a nerve from the tooth. Each of your teeth has a nerve that goes through the tooth and attaches to the gum, basically acting as the life source of the tooth. When this nerve gets infected or exposed, it can cause extreme pain. A root canal involves removing the nerve and pulp and then sealing up the tooth to protect against further damage. If you have tooth pain, you may wonder if it’s serious enough to warrant a more involved procedure like a root canal.
Tooth pain is the most common symptom indicating you may need a root canal. This pain can be anywhere from mild to severe and may subside or get worse throughout the day. Sometimes the pain is more extreme when you bite down on the tooth. You may also have heightened sensitivity to hot food or beverages, and your gums may feel tender and swollen near the affected tooth. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, you can manage your pain by applying an ice pack to your jaw.
What to Expect at the Dental Visit
When you visit your dentist, he or she will diagnose the cause of your tooth pain with an examination and X-rays. This will help determine the best next steps to alleviate tooth pain and other symptoms. A root canal is not always the answer; a less invasive procedure may be recommended instead, depending on the diagnosis.
For good measure, it’s important for you to call your dentist immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms or feel like something just isn’t right. Detecting the problem early is key to good oral health.
To learn more about possible signs and symptoms of tooth pain, schedule an appointment with Drs Of Smiles by contacting Scott T. LeSueur, DDS & Charles A Dodaro, DDS online or by calling our Mesa office at (480) 834-6991 today. We serve Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and all surrounding Arizona communities.