• 1769 Jamestown Rd, Suite 2B
  • 757-903-2527

The Root (Canal) Of Your Pain

  • May 10, 2016

Your teeth are supposed to help you bite into apples. Your teeth are supposed to help you chew a bite of a hamburger. Your teeth are supposed to help your smile look its best.

Your teeth are not supposed to hurt.

If you are experiencing a toothache, then you should stop reading now and call 757-903-2527 to make an appointment at Historic Triangle Dental Care in Williamsburg, VA.

Now, if your teeth are not causing you pain, we want you to know what you can do to help prevent that from happening to you. Our dentist and the rest of our team knows that most people don’t like the idea of getting a root canal treatment, although they are not nearly as painful as many people believe them to be.

In fact, in modern dentistry, root canal procedures can be performed practically pain-free. Before we explain what happens during this treatment, we first want you to understand why you may need endodontic care.

Anatomy Of A Toothache

As we’ve already said, your teeth should not cause you pain, and there’s a good reason for that. The nerves for each tooth are located on the inside of those teeth.

Nerves enter your teeth through openings in the root. These openings are your root canals. The nerves and blood vessel extend into the pulp chamber in the center of your tooth. The soft pulp is protected by a layer of dentin and the harder outer layers of your teeth (enamel and cementum).

If the pulp becomes infected, it can become inflamed. When this happens, you will start to feel the pains associated with the need for a root canal treatment.

This may be a sharp pain that occurs when you bite or chew. This may be a lingering pain that seems to stay with you throughout the day.

This pain may increase your tooth sensitivity to hot drinks (like your morning coffee), sweet things (like orange juice), and cold drinks (like a glass of ice water after a workout).

How Teeth Get Infected

Two of the most common ways that teeth become infected are gum disease and tooth decay. Both of these problems are caused by bacteria that live inside your mouth.

Brushing and flossing between your teeth will go a long way toward removing many of these bacteria from your mouth. They regrow every day, which is why oral hygiene requires daily upkeep.

Let’s say the bacteria have built plaque and tartar. The bacteria may start to eat away at your teeth. If the bacteria attack the root, they may have a shorter path to the pulp located in your root canal. If the bacteria attack the crown, they can eat through the layers given enough time to infect the pulp chamber.

Regardless of how the infection occurs, it can create the pains that we associate with a toothache and the need for a root canal treatment.

Even if you follow the recommendations to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time and to floss daily, you may still risk infections. A traumatic injury can cause your tooth to become chipped or cracked. This could expose new parts of your tooth to the bacteria that cause infections.

Getting A Root Canal

Root canal treatments are part of endodontics, which is a field of dentistry focused on the inside of the tooth.

Television and movies have often portrayed root canal care in a negative light. In modern dentistry, this is a standard, virtually pain-free procedure.

Before the procedure begins, we will numb your infected tooth as well as the surrounding gum tissue. If you prefer, we can offer dental sedation. By inhaling nitrous oxide or through oral conscious sedation, you can be confident that you won’t feel a thing.

After making an opening in your tooth, our dentist will remove the infected pulp. Then he will clean and sanitize the root canals and pulp chamber, which will be filled a special material called gutta-percha. This reduces your risk of reinfection.

When we are finished, your tooth will be sealed to provide further protection.

Thanks to new technology, like our WaveOne endodontic system, we can complete a root canal treatment in as little as 15 minutes.

As you recover, you should notice that your tooth pain has gone away, and you can get back to your normal life.

Don’t Ignore The Pain

Toothaches don’t usually go away on their own. If you have noticed the symptoms of an infected tooth, please make an appointment at our Williamsburg, VA, dentist office right away.

You can reach Historic Triangle Dental Care by filling out our online form or by calling 757-903-2527.


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