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Root Canal Infections

Root Canal Infections

Root canal infections occur when bacteria invade the innermost part of the tooth, known as the pulp. This area contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, which can become inflamed and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. If left untreated, a root canal infection can cause pain, swelling, and even lead to an abscess. 

Symptoms of Root Canal Infections 

  • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure 
  • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures 
  • Discoloration of the tooth 
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums 
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums 


Treatment for a root canal infection typically involves the removal of the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and then filling and sealing it to prevent further infection. In most cases, a crown will be placed on the tooth to restore its function and appearance. 


Q. What Causes Root Canal Infections? 

A. Root canal infections are usually caused by deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a severe chip or crack that allows bacteria to enter the pulp of the tooth. Other risk factors include trauma to the tooth, even if it doesn’t cause visible chips or cracks. 

Q. How Can I Prevent Root Canal Infections? 

A. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent root canal infections. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using an antiseptic mouthwash, and regular dental checkups. Avoiding hard foods that can crack the teeth and wearing a mouthguard during sports can also help prevent damage that could lead to infection. 

Q. Is the Root Canal Treatment Painful? 

A. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most people experience little to no pain during a root canal procedure. It’s typically no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. Post-treatment discomfort is usually mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. 

Q. What Happens If I Don’t Treat a Root Canal Infection? 

A. Ignoring a root canal infection can lead to severe pain, swelling, and the spread of the infection to the jaw and other areas of the body. In extreme cases, it can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout the body. Prompt treatment is crucial to prevent more serious health issues. 

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