Your teeth are the strongest substance in your body. They can stand up to a significant amount of daily wear and tear. Despite their strength, however, they can still be affected by several different types of issues. Many of these issues can affect the structural integrity of your teeth and leave them susceptible to infections. If an infection does develop, treatment is needed right away. Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry can help with a root canal.
How Do I Get an Infection In My Tooth?
Your teeth consist of a few different layers. The outermost layer, or the enamel, is an incredibly hard, protective layer. Below the enamel is the dentin. This layer is also hard, though not as hard as your enamel. It contains hollow canals that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber. This chamber houses the pulp, which is soft tissue containing blood vessels and nerves.
Your enamel is very strong. However, it can still be faced with physical damage and decay. When these issues enter into the inner layers of your teeth, a path is opened up. Bacteria can travel into the inner layers of the teeth. There, they begin to multiply and irritate the pulp. The irritated pulp becomes inflamed and often leads to a painful toothache.
Without treatment, a tooth infection only continues to worsen. Bacteria can eventually spill out through the root of the tooth. This can lead to the formation of an abscess. An abscess is a sac that forms to contain bacteria and prevent their spread. Abscesses grow larger over time, and can eventually rupture. This can allow bacteria to travel into the bloodstream.
How Do I Know if I Have an Infection?
A painful toothache is one of the most common symptoms associated with a tooth infection. There are several other symptoms that you may notice as well.
Diagnosing a Tooth Infection
When you notice symptoms of a tooth infection, it is essential that you schedule an appointment right away. We look over your teeth and your gums, checking for tooth damage, decay, and signs of redness and swelling. Diagnosing a tooth infection also involves the use of digital x-rays, which allow us to see between your teeth as well as below your gum line. X-rays can show us bone loss in your jaw as well as abscesses. After diagnosing an infection in your tooth, we can then formulate a customized treatment plan.
Treating an Infection With a Root Canal
A root canal is a procedure designed to treat a tooth infection. The procedure is generally done under a local anesthetic, although sedation can be provided as well. We begin by drilling an access hole at the top of the tooth. Next, specialized tools are used to remove the infected pulp and nerve from the tooth. The canals are shaped and cleaned, and the entire inside of the tooth is disinfected. A material called gutta percha is placed inside of the tooth. This material seals the canals, protecting them. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth, providing additional protection while restoring its strength.
A root canal can help to restore the health of an infected tooth while also preserving it and preventing the need for a tooth extraction. If you suspect that you have a tooth infection, call Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry at (623) 562-5230 to schedule your appointment today.