A question we get asked about a lot is “Is a root canal painful?” A lot of times our response is “If you are asking that question, you don’t need one.”

Thanks to modern techniques in dentistry and dental products, Root canal treatment isn’t painful at all, but the infection is in the top 5 one of the most painful things you would ever have the misery of feeling. Some people ask “is it better to pull the tooth or get a root canal“. You should be praising the root canal!  In old times, there was no other choice but to extract the tooth when someone had a tooth infection. Root canal treatment allows us to save the tooth from extraction.

Now, imagine a pain so severe that you cannot sleep or think. That’s usually the signs and symptoms of an infected tooth (the pulp of the tooth). That is also called a dental abscess.

What is a dental abscess?

An abscess of the tooth is an infection caused by bacteria entering the tooth because of decay. If left untreated, these germs may travel through the root to reach the pulp, full of nerves and blood vessels. The germs infect and inflame the pulp, leading to a pocket filled with pus, known as a periapical abscess.

Besides decay, cracks or dental fractures, or deteriorating fillings can also trigger a dental abscess.

Another type of abscess is a gum abscess, where the infection builds up near the crown of a tooth and produces pus. Gum abscess tends to occur due to too much tartar buildup or when something like food gets caught between the teeth and gums.

What causes tooth pulp infection

Inflammation of the innermost part of the tooth, called tooth pulp, can be caused by several different factors. The most frequent one is when cavities reach deep into the tooth and expose the pulp to bacteria, leading to pulpitis.

Dental trauma, overly aggressive tooth preparation that comes close to the pulp, numerous invasive treatments, a cracked tooth, and even bruxism can also cause pulpitis. It is the pressure placed on the nerves surrounding the pulp due to swollen vessels that cause you pain and discomfort.

It could be a case of reversible pulpitis if you start to feel pain when exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures, but it goes away quickly. However, if the pain is intense and lingers after exposure to temperature changes, occurs spontaneously, or is diffuse, irreversible pulpitis may be more likely.

Infected tooth pulp symptoms

The telltale signs of an inflamed or infected tooth pulp may include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling pain in response to either hot or cold drinks and food;
  • Sudden pain that comes and goes without warning and can be throbbing or sharp;
  • The act of biting down triggers a painful sensation;
  • Pain that radiates to the head, temple, or ear;
  • Intrinsical discoloration of the tooth;
  • Overly sensitive gums;
  • Presence of an abscess or swollen areas.

Sometimes, pulpitis progresses without any signs or symptoms. Your tooth then continues to deteriorate until the day you start experiencing intense pain or an abscess, forcing you to seek emergency care.

If you experience any of the listed symptoms and may be in need of a Root Canal in Burlington, contact us for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.