January 11, 2016
The phrase root canal sends many dental patients running for the door. Over the years root canal therapy, covered by the dental specialty endodontics (endo=inside, odont=tooth), has earned a reputation for being extremely painful. At Dr. Erik E. Utz’s Bowling Green dental practice, we want to set your mind at ease. Root canal therapy actually relieves the pain associated with infected dental pulp. Root canal therapy itself is relatively painless, and patients need very little, if any, time to recover following successful treatment. Typically completed in one to two visits, root canals restore smiles and protect natural dental structure.
What is a Root Canal Infection?
Root canal infection occurs when the inner, pulp layer of teeth becomes infected. There are three layers in every tooth: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Pulp is a soft, spongy tissue that houses the nerve structure of teeth and provides support for the external structures. Because the outer dental layers are thinner in the root area, these infections commonly begin inside the root structure in the root canal. This is how they earned their name. However, infection of the pulp can originate from any part of the tooth, and because these infections have direct access to the dental nerve, they are quite painful.
How do I Know I need a Root Canal?
The only way to know for sure root canal therapy is necessary is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Utz and his Bowling Green, OH dental team. Some of the warning signs and symptoms of root canal infection include:
- General or localized pain or discomfort especially while chewing, brushing, or flossing
- Sensitivity to changes in temperature that does not abate after temperature normalizes
- Darkening or discoloration of a single tooth
- Swelling or irritation in the gums around the affected tooth
- One or more teeth that feel loose or don’t fit into tge bite the way they used to
- Pus or blood around the painful tooth
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
- Fever, nausea, and other signs of bacterial infection may occur if infection enters the blood stream
Contact Dr. Utz for Endodontic Treatment in Bowling Green
While patients often associate root canals with severe pain and discomfort, these comfortable, effective treatments actually significantly reduce pain. Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Utz to schedule an appointment right away if you experience any of the warning signs of root canal infection. Our team is happy to help you achieve your oral health care goals.
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