Teeth contain highly sensitive pulp in their centers and are, thus, not completely solid structures. This pulp consists of soft tissue and nerve endings that allow you to feel sensations of hot, cold, and pain. Advanced tooth decay can expose this pulp, causing a severe infection that can penetrate to the jawline if untreated. A dentist can perform a root canal, during which he or she removes infectious bacteria and pulp from the tooth and then seals it. The tooth will retain the same function without nerve endings present. Here are some of the signs that you might need a root canal:
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold: A painful reaction to high or low temperatures is a sign that your tooth enamel is weak and thin. When this occurs in great frequency and disrupts your eating habits, the tooth has likely been damaged through to the pulp.
- Persistent toothaches: Pain is simply a reaction in the body that is meant to signal a problem in a particular area. Therefore, nerves that are being ravaged by infection will send signals of severe pain to the brain.
- Crack or chip in the tooth: Because cracks can easily compromise the tooth’s structure, root canals are often necessary after traumatic injury to a tooth. Even if the injury is not painful, any newly developed damage to the teeth should always be brought to the attention of your dentist.
- Oversized fillings: When tooth decay is developing, it is recognized as a cavity in the tooth. Cavities are treated with fillings to prevent the decay from continuing to spread, but if the filling is too large, the tooth pulp can still be subject to irritation.
If you are experiencing irritation related to tooth decay, schedule a consultation with Lenox Village Dentistry right away. We can provide the urgent treatment you need as well as general cleaning and exam services to prevent future damage. Contact us on our website or call (615) 832-2095 for more information.