Every tooth houses a nerve which is important for sensations such as hot or cold. When decay gets too deep or you sustain an injury to your tooth, this may lead to a bacterial infection of the nerve.
This condition requires root canal treatment. The aim is to remove the infection and the affected nerve to save your tooth from extraction whilst preserving the surrounding gums and bone.
Signs and symptoms of an infected nerve
An infected nerve does not always cause immediate pain. However, as the infection develops, so does the severity of the pain. Some signs or symptoms to indicate an infected tooth are:
- sensitivity to hot and cold which last for longer than a few seconds
- swelling of your face or gum near the infected tooth
- changing tooth colour – becoming grey or black
- pain when biting
- deep decay
- a fractured tooth
- breakdown or loss of a filling
- a heavy knock to the tooth that may have shifted the tooth from its natural position – even if the tooth is not broken
The longer you delay your root canal procedure the more severe the pain and extensive the infection can become, this can cause irreversible bone and gum damage and there may be no alternative other than to extract a tooth that may have been able to be saved.
The sooner root canal treatment is performed the easier and more successful the procedure. With technological advances, root canal therapy can be completed more efficiently and comfortably than ever before.