Root Canal Therapy
How Do I Get a Tooth Infection?
At first glance, your teeth appear fairly simple. However, they consist of several layers. The hard, protective outermost layer, called the enamel, is just one of these layers. Under the enamel is another hard layer called dentin. Not as hard as your enamel, the dentin houses hollow canals that lead to the roots of your teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber that contains soft tissue called pulp.
Any damage or decay to your teeth, even seemingly minor damage, needs to be addressed right away. Without treatment, damage can worsen, leaving your teeth susceptible to further damage. The larger damage that affects the inner layers of your teeth can allow bacteria inside. Once inside the tooth, the bacteria begin to irritate the pulp, causing it to become inflamed. As bacteria continue to multiply, they can even begin to spill out through the root of the tooth, leading the formation of an abscess. This abscess attempts to contain the bacteria. Over time, it can grow larger, affecting your jawbone. If the abscess ruptures, bacteria can also enter into the bloodstream.
What are the Symptoms of a Tooth Infection?
One of the biggest indications of a tooth infection is pain. The irritated and inflamed pulp can cause a very painful toothache. Some individuals, however, may not experience pain. There are several other symptoms that may appear as well. These include:
How is a Tooth Infection Diagnosed?
When you notice tooth pain or other symptoms of a tooth infection, it is important to schedule an appointment right away. To diagnose an infection, we need to perform a thorough oral exam. We look over your teeth and gums, checking for signs of damage, decay, redness, swelling, and more. We also take X-rays of your mouth, which enable us to see damage below the gum line as well as abscesses and bone loss. Once we have determined the presence of an infection, we can then formulate a treatment plan.
Treating an Infection with Root Canal Therapy
To treat a tooth infection, root canal therapy is needed. This procedure is performed under a local anesthetic. If you feel anxious, sedation may also be provided. We begin by drilling a small access hole at the top of the tooth. Small tools are used to remove the infected pulp and nerve from the tooth. Next, the canals inside the tooth are shaped and cleaned. The entire interior of the tooth is disinfected. We then fill the interior of the tooth with a special material that helps to seal the canals. Finally, a crown is placed to provide additional protection. It also helps to strengthen the tooth, allowing it to function normally.
Treating an infection can restore the health of your mouth and enables the tooth to remain in its socket, preventing the need for an extraction. If you suspect a tooth infection, call Florida Prosthodontics today at (321) 252-9950 to schedule your appointment.
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