Your teeth do a lot for you every single day. Their incredible strength allows them to withstand most daily use while still providing you with a beautiful smile. Despite your teeth being stronger than your bones, they are still susceptible to harm such as physical damage or decay from plaque and bacteria. These types of damages not only compromise the structural integrity of the affected tooth, but they can also allow bacteria into the inner layers, leading to a serious infection. In the event of a tooth infection, OHIOSmiles can help with root canal therapy.
The Formation Of A Tooth Infection
The exterior layer of your teeth, known as the enamel, is exceptionally hard. Under the enamel is the dentin. It is still hard, although not as hard as the enamel, it contains hollow canals that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below this layer is the pulp chamber and the pulp, which is a soft tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves. If tooth damage goes past the enamel and into the dentin, bacteria can then enter the interior layers of the teeth. They take up residence in the canals and begin attacking the soft pulp. The tissue becomes irritated and inflamed, which can then lead to significant pain. Eventually, bacteria can spill out of the root of the tooth, causing the formation of an abscess. An abscess forms in an attempt to contain the bacteria. Without treatment, it only continues to grow larger. It can even rupture, which can then allow bacteria into the bloodstream where it can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels and serious health complications.
How Do I Know I Have An Infection?
When bacteria irritate the pulp and cause inflammation, it can cause severe pain in the tooth. While the most common indication of an infection, there are several other symptoms that can occur as well.
- Swelling in the jaw or in the face near the affected tooth.
- A chronic bad taste in your mouth, even though you brush and floss.
- Lingering pain and sensitivity, even after the irritant is gone. This is usually indicative of a dying nerve.
- Loss of bone mass in the jaw.
- A dental abscess.
Diagnosing An Infected Tooth
If you suspect that you have a tooth infection, it is imperative that you seek treatment immediately. We thoroughly inspect your mouth to make an accurate diagnosis. We check your teeth for signs of damage and look over your gums to check for signs of an infection. We also take digital x-rays of your mouth. These images enable us to see the roots of your teeth and your jawbone, where we can see any damage below the gumline, bone loss, abscesses and more. If we determine the presence of an infection, and that the tooth can be saved, we then move forward to plan your treatment.
Restoring Your Oral Health With Root Canal Therapy
When an infection is present, the only treatment to eliminate it is root canal therapy. Depending on the severity, a root canal may be referred to another highly trained doctor. After a local anesthetic, a small hole is removed into the top of the tooth. We use small, specialized tools to remove the pulp and the nerve. Next, the canals of the tooth are shaped and cleaned. The entire inside of the tooth is disinfected. We then place a rubber-like material called gutta-percha inside the tooth. This material seals the canals that have just been cleaned. Finally, the tooth is prepared, and a crown is placed on top.
If you suspect that you have an infection inside your tooth, do not wait. Call OHIOSmiles today at (740) 439-2501 to schedule your appointment.