Root Canal Treatment
How did my tooth get infected?
The visible, exterior layer of a tooth is called the enamel. Beneath the enamel is another hard layer, called the dentin. The dentin surrounds a small chamber at the center of the tooth that contains the pulp. Tooth pulp is a soft tissue made up of nerves, arteries and veins. The pulp extends from the pulp chamber down through narrow channels, called root canals, to the tips of the roots.
The two most common causes of infection in the pulp are deep cavities and fractures or broken teeth. Both expose the pulp to bacteria that live in the saliva. These bacteria, which are always present in the mouth, can cause an infection that can kill the pulp. Without treatment, the pus will eventually gather down at the root tip and pass into the jaw bone causing an abscess (or pus pocket). The abscess can then damage the bone that surrounds the tooth. The resulting pressure inside the bone and ligaments surrounding the tooth can cause excruciating pain, and left untreated, can even be life threatening.
You may have realized you have an infected tooth because it was sensitive to hot and cold, was swollen and painful, or was giving you a bad taste in your mouth. On the other hand, you may have been completely unaware that you even had an infection because you experienced none of these symptoms.
Root Canal Therapy
An infected tooth will never heal on its own, and as it gets worse, it will continue to be a source of infection that depletes your immune system, which can affect your entire body. Years ago, your only option would be for us to extract your tooth. But today, we can remove the infection with Root Canal Therapy, and save your tooth.
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