Our dentist may suggest root canal treatment as an option for you if there is inflammation or infection inside one of your teeth. They will clean and fill inside the tooth to prevent further damage or infection. Root canal treatment can save your tooth from having to be taken out.
What is a root canal?
Your teeth have ‘roots’ that anchor them into your jawbone. Inside each of your teeth there is a mixture of blood vessels and nerves called pulp. Pulp sits inside a space called the pulp chamber and this extends down into the roots of the tooth. The pulp chamber within the root is called the root canal.
Why might I need root canal treatment?
If your tooth is damaged, bacteria can get inside it. This causes irritation, pain and swelling. If the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected, this can spread into the pulp inside the root canal. The aim of root canal treatment is to prevent your tooth from being taken out by removing the damaged pulp and treating the infection.
You may need root canal treatment for a number of reasons, including:
- Severe tooth decay
- Repeated dental treatment on the tooth
- A cracked tooth
- A broken crown
- Cracked or loose fillings
- Gum disease
- An injury, such as a knock to your mouth
If an infection isn’t treated, it can spread further and cause an abscess. This can be painful, tender and can cause swelling around your tooth and jaw.
Sometimes your tooth may look darker in colour than your other teeth, which means that the nerve inside your tooth is dead or dying. Without treatment, the infection may spread further into your jawbone and you may need to have your tooth removed.