Root Canals for Infected Teeth
Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is necessary when the pulp of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes, such as deep decay or a crack or chip in the tooth.
With proper care, an endodontically treated tooth will function normally for years to come.
How Did My Tooth Get Infected?
The two most common causes of infection in the pulp are deep cavities and fractured or broken teeth. Both expose the pulp to bacteria that live in saliva. These bacteria, which are always present in your mouth, can cause an infection that can kill the pulp.
Without treatment, the pus from the infection can eventually gather down at the root tip and pass into the jaw bone, causing an abscess (a pus pocket). The abscess can then damage the bone that surrounds the tooth.
The resulting pressure inside the bone and ligaments surrounding the tooth can cause excruciating pain and, left untreated, can even be life-threatening.
You may have realized that you had an infected tooth because it was sensitive to hot and cold, was swollen and painful, or had given you a bad taste in your mouth.
On the other hand, you may have been completely unaware that you had an infection because you experienced no symptoms at all.