A dental abscess begins to form when bacteria enter the root canal system from something like deep tooth decay or a crack in the tooth. Once bacteria have invaded the root canal it causes the nerve of the tooth to become inflamed and painful, causing toothache.
Root canal treatment is a procedure that many people have heard of, but patients often ask me why a root canal filling may be required. In my previous blog on this subject, I discussed how bacteria have a pivotal role in initiating pain and infection within a tooth. For today’s blog I thought I would discuss dental abscesses in more detail, and how we can treat these teeth in a pain-free way so that the patient can retain their tooth and avoid extraction.
A dental abscess begins to form when bacteria enter the root canal system from something like deep tooth decay or a crack in the tooth. Once bacteria have invaded the root canal it causes the nerve of the tooth to become inflamed and painful, causing toothache. If left untreated, the bacteria will spread and multiply within the tooth which will eventually lead to the nerve dying. Without the infection being treated promptly, the infection will eventually reach the tip of the root where an abscess can begin.
Signs and symptoms of a dental abscess commonly include severe and constant toothache, throbbing pains in the jaw, pain when biting or touching the tooth, swelling and tenderness, movement of the tooth or feeling “different in the bite” and lastly a bad taste or smell from the mouth.
When an abscess occurs the recommended treatment to eliminate this infection is to perform a root canal filling, rather than extracting the tooth and leaving a large gap. Patients often worry about this treatment being painful because of what they may have heard from friends or family. When discussing this treatment with patients I reassure them that the nerve in the tooth is already dead at this point, therefore there is very little or no pain at all during their treatment, particularly when local anaesthetic is used to eliminate the chance of discomfort.
At Infinity Dental Clinic, root canal treatment is performed in a gentle manner to wash and clean the remnants of the dead nerve and bacteria out from the tooth using specific cleaning liquids and solutions. Upon thorough cleaning and disinfection of the root canal, often a special and soothing antibacterial medication is placed in the tooth which helps remove the infection. We use modern equipment and materials which are designed to make the whole procedure as efficient and comfortable as possible whilst making the patient feel relaxed throughout their treatment. I find that the majority of patients are pleasantly surprised after their treatment, commenting their procedure was pain-free.
It is my goal to reassure patients regarding their root canal treatments, as I strongly believe that it is not something to be feared or nervous about. I hope that you have found this blog informative and useful, and I thank you for taking the time to read the above information.
Thank you for reading:
Dr James David
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