What is a root canal?
A root canal consists of the inner passages of a tooth that connect the roots to the pulp.
During a root canal procedure, your dentist will remove infected tooth pulp material from a tooth's interior to prevent pain and preserve the tooth.
How can I tell if I need a root canal?
Pain in the tooth can indicate an infection of the tooth pulp.
You might notice sharp pain while chewing or when pressure is applied to the tooth. Severe sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures may also become an issue.
If you are experiencing pain in your tooth, book an appointment with your dentists in Selkirk as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
A Bump on the Gums
A small, pimple-like bump called a dental cyst may form on the gums or near a tooth that may need a root canal.
Dental cysts form around the roots of infected or decayed teeth, and sometimes form if a tooth's pulp is infected.
Darkening of the Tooth
A tooth with infected pulp may become dark in colour, or even black, due to internal damage. If you notice that one of your teeth has become darker than the others, it may be indicative of a problem with the inner pulp.
Does a Root Canal Hurt?
A root canal procedure might sound scary, but with today’s technology, it’s typically not a whole lot more different than having a deep filling. There’s little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you’re comfortable during the procedure.
Your mouth may feel sore or tender after this dental treatment. Your dentist may suggest that you take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
Generally, pre-treatment pain can be high, but the pain tends to drop moderately within a day of treatment and then drop substantially to minimal levels within a week.
How to Prevent a Root Canal
To prevent the need for a root canal, it’s important to follow the same dental hygiene habits that help prevent cavities and other tooth problems. To keep your teeth healthy, try to get into the habit of following these steps:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride rinse.
- See your dentist for checkups every 6 months.
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist at least once a year.
- Limit the amount of sugary food and refined carbohydrates you eat. These foods have a tendency to stick to your teeth. If you eat sugary foods, try to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth shortly afterward.