How do you know if you need a root canal?
When the inner soft tissue (pulp) of a tooth’s root becomes infected, a root canal procedure is typically required. Indications of this issue may include tooth pain, gum sensitivity, persistent tooth sensitivity, or a change in tooth colour. In order to determine if a root canal is necessary, the dentist may need to perform an X-ray.
Does the procedure hurt?
Similar to any other dental procedure, a local anaesthetic is administered around the tooth area during a root canal to numb the nerves and prevent pain throughout the procedure. Having a root canal treatment is no more painful than getting a cavity filled.
What happens if an infected tooth is left untreated?
If an infected tooth is left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, causing serious complications. Here are some of the potential consequences of leaving an infected tooth untreated:
1. Spread of infection: The infection can spread to the gums, jawbone, or even the bloodstream, which can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.
2. Tooth loss: The infection can cause irreversible damage to the tooth’s structure and root, which may lead to tooth loss.
3. Abscess formation: An abscess may form around the infected tooth, causing swelling and pain. If left untreated, the abscess can rupture and spread the infection to other parts of the body.
4. Sinusitis: An upper tooth infection can spread to the sinuses, causing sinusitis, which can result in nasal congestion, facial pain, and fever.
5. Osteomyelitis: The infection can spread to the jawbone, causing osteomyelitis, a serious condition that can cause bone loss and require surgery to remove the affected bone.
In summary, leaving an infected tooth untreated can have serious consequences, including the spread of infection, tooth loss, abscess formation, sinusitis, and osteomyelitis. It’s important to seek dental care promptly if you suspect you have an infected tooth.