The commonness of tooth decay, which affects almost everyone at some point in their lives, can sometimes make the condition seem like a casual concern. If it develops, you can usually treat it conveniently with a tooth-colored filling and move on. However, the condition is progressive, and waiting to treat it or failing to recognize it in time can lead to the need for more extensive treatment, such as root canal therapy.
The first stages of tooth decay involve the erosion of your tooth enamel, which is why your teeth first start to grow sensitive. This sensitivity can often warn you that the tooth is decaying, and prompt you to seek treatment in time to fix it with a tooth filling. However, if the tooth is fractured, or if you had a filling placed before and it fails, then the decay can become much more severe faster than you expect. In its severe stages, tooth decay affects the nerves and blood vessels in the a tooth’s pulp and the root canal that connects it to your jawbone.
When a tooth becomes severely infected, it becomes much harder to ignore or miss. The pain of your tooth’s tissues becoming infected will be intense, even when it isn’t exposed to hot or cold temperatures, or pressure. Given the progressive nature of tooth decay, the discomfort will only grow worse until you seek appropriate treatment to remove the infection and restore the tooth’s structure. The infection will also grow worse, and extreme cases, you may need to extract and replace the tooth to save your smile.
To save your tooth from severe infection, root canal treatment involves removing all of the infected tissues and tooth structure, as well as the oral bacteria causing the infection. This includes the nerves and blood vessels in your tooth’s pulp and root canal, which your dentist can then seal and fortify with a biocompatible material. Once the root canal and inner structures are cleaned and sealed, your dentist can cap the tooth with a lifelike dental crown to offer it enhanced protection and fully restore your bite’s function.
Severe tooth decay and the need for root canal treatment are time-sensitive concerns, and hesitating to seek treatment could have serious consequences for your oral health. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.