Got a Toothache? You May Need a Root Canal to Save the Tooth

Apr 13, 2018

Do you know someone with a painful tooth? Oral pain is never a good sign, as it may indicate a serious tooth infection that could lead to the loss of the tooth if neglected. Whether it’s sporadic, constant, or responsive to pressure and temperature, any toothache should warrant a visit to the dentist. You may need root canal therapy to save the tooth.

With most pain problems, “leave it alone and wait and see” is usually a good response. Occasional headaches, ankle sprains, muscle pulls—with minor pains like these, the body is quite capable of healing itself. When set properly, bones heal themselves over time, we all know that. Teeth, however, are not like the rest of the body because they cannot heal themselves. Once a hole or crack forms in the tooth enamel, there is nothing the body can do to repair it. Only a dentist can help you fix the source of a toothache.

Do you suspect you need root canal therapy in Roswell, GA? Visit Shenk Dental Care to have your tooth problems solved with a comfortable root canal treatment. Call us and we’ll heal your toothache for good!

Why is Root Canal Therapy Needed?

A root canal is also called endodontic therapy (endo means inside, dont means tooth). This treatment allows you to keep a tooth even after bacteria and decay have reached the inner tissues.

The outside of the tooth, the enamel, is hard and has no nerve endings. (Eating would be much different if it did!). When mouth bacteria excrete acids, however, they leach minerals out of the enamel and create a hole, or cavity. You will not feel a new cavity, but if not identified and treated promptly, it will continue to grow until it reaches the sensitive dentin layer. Some less-painful cavities only reach the dentin and can be treated without root canal therapy.

Neglected long enough, however, the cavity will reach the pulp chamber, where the living tissues reside. If bacterial infection reaches the blood vessels inside a tooth, this becomes a real danger, because bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and threaten the health of the rest of your body. A badly infected tooth is no joke; people have died from severe infections that started in a tooth.

If your toothache is ever accompanied with facial swelling and fever, you have most likely developed an abscess and will need serious medical attention (and a tooth extraction). If this happens to you, get yourself to an emergency medical center, ASAP.

The bottom line is that you can’t feel tooth decay when it only affects the enamel. Therefore, if you have a severe toothache stemming from a cavity, there’s a good chance it reaches all the way inside the tooth and requires root canal therapy.

What Happens When You Get a Root Canal?

When you come to Shenk Dental Care, we make sure you are comfortable during your treatment. Root canals take a little bit longer than standard dental fillings, so we make sure you are properly numbed before we start any work.

A visit for root canal therapy will include the following steps:

  1. X-rays to determine the size and depth of the cavity, and whether a root canal is needed.
  2. Anesthetic injection to block the nerves and induce numbness.
  3. Treating the tooth to remove decayed tooth matter and bacteria.
  4. Cleaning and sanitizing the inside of the tooth.
  5. Filling the tooth with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha, and sometimes a post and core.
  6. Finishing the tooth with a filling or crown.

Patients who get root canals often experience some jaw soreness from keeping their mouth open during the procedure, but this should go away within 24 hours. If you experience any pain in the tooth a few days after your root canal therapy, call our office right away, and we’ll see you as soon as possible.

Technically, a tooth that gets a root canal is considered a dead tooth, since all the living tissues have been removed. This is actually a good thing, because it means your painful toothache will not come back. Structurally, the tooth will look and feel like the rest of your teeth and will serve you well for years to come.

If you’ve been dealing with a painful toothache, it’s time to fix your tooth and put your pain behind you! Call Shenk Dental Care at for root canal therapy in Roswell, GA!

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