What are Root Canals?
At Dental On in Milton and Woollongabba, we pride ourselves in pain free root canals.
Root Canals are the treatment of a tooth involving the pulp or nerve space. Prolonged pain as well as sensitivity to hot and cold is usually one of the early symptoms of pulp damage. The pulp is ‘alive’ at this stage but if the damage is severe, the pulp tissue is unable to heal itself and continues to hurt and worsen until it degenerates and ‘dies’.
Both heat and cold expand and contract the pulp tissue, causing pain. At this stage heat causes pain which may take minutes to subside and this may be relieved by the placement of cold on the tooth. In an undamaged pulp the nerve tissue has mechanisms to control expansion/contraction so pain isn’t experienced. The cause of pain when a tooth ‘dies’ is the pressure of the ‘dead’ contents of the inside of the tooth ( consisting of dead pulp tissue and bacteria ) on bone and gums. The tooth often feels pain to pressure yet may not be sensitive to changes in temperature. Symptoms most commonly associated with a ‘dead’ nerve are a tooth that hurts to bite on, becomes sore to touch and in acute stages, facial swelling can occur.
Tooth pain that may result in the need for Root Canal treatment may include:
Severe pain which lasts for some time after the hot or cold has been removed is a sign that the pulp has irreversible damage. Sensitivity to hot and cold may also be due to decay, gum recession or crack.
Pressure pain that shoots down the root of a tooth and continues to throb indicates the need for root canal therapy.