Pain Related to a Root Canal Infection
A root canal infection is inflammation of the tissues at the core of the tooth, expanding down the lengths of the tooth roots. Root canal infections can develop when decay or injury exposes the inner layers of a tooth, allowing bacteria to access the sensitive nerves and tissues.
Root canal infections can be very painful, but many people hesitate to seek treatment, because root canal therapy has a bad reputation. Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy alleviates, rather than causes, root canal infection pain. Here, the dentists at Brooklyn Heights Dental prepare our Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, and Fort Greene, patients for the symptoms they may experience before, during, and after root canal therapy.
Pain Caused by Root Canal Infection
A root canal infection is one of the most painful dental complications. To understand why a root canal infection can cause such discomfort it is important to know how the tooth is constructed.
Each tooth is made up of a core of sensitive nerves and tissues. This is known as the pulp of the tooth. The nerves at the pulp of the tooth connect to the tooth’s roots, which extend into the gumline. The pulp of the tooth is extremely sensitive to sensations like temperature and pressure. However, surrounding the pulp of the tooth is a semi-hard layer of dentin, and then a hard layer of tooth enamel, which makes up the outermost layer of the tooth.
Since the pulp of the tooth has a protective barrier of dentin and tooth enamel, people can bite and chew without any pain. Unfortunately, when a root canal infection develops, those tissues are exposed. Furthermore, infection causes the tissues to become inflamed. Inflammation, along with exposure, causes patients to experience root canal infection symptoms such as oral pain and increased sensitivity. Depending on the degree of the infection, root canal pain can be unbearable.
Pain during Root Canal Therapy
When people learn that they need root canal therapy, they are often very nervous. Many individuals have heard that root canal therapy is a complex and painful procedure. In actuality, root canal treatment is a straightforward and effective treatment for root canal infection, and one that should not cause any pain.
During root canal treatment, infected tissues are removed from the tooth and the lengths of the root canals are cleaned to eliminate infection. After cleaning, the tooth is filled with a rubber-like compound, and then a dental crown is placed as a final layer of protection.
Root canal treatment is performed with patients under the effects of local anesthetic. The treatment site is thoroughly numbed before treatment begins. This ensures that our patients are completely comfortable throughout the procedure.
Pain during Root Canal Therapy Recovery
Following root canal therapy the tissues surrounding the treated tooth may be swollen. As the tissues recover, patients may experience mild discomfort or a slight increase in tooth sensitivity. This is a normal part of the recovery process and should not last more than a few days. Any discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication, or through the use of cold compresses.
If patients experience significant pain in the days following root canal therapy, they should report it to our dental team immediately. Severe pain is not a normal part of root canal recovery, and may be an indication that a complication has developed.
Contact Brooklyn Heights Dental
If you are experiencing oral pain, you may be suffering from a root canal infection. To learn how root canal therapy can alleviate pain and restore oral health and functions, schedule an appointment with the dentists at Brooklyn Heights Dental. To get started, send us a message online, or call us at (718) 857-6639.