When Chewing food hurts, it could be a root canal infection

Eating food is one of life’s pleasures but if you’re having problems with your teeth, then this can ruin the experience.

Most of us assume that any kind of tooth pain means decay that will require a filling. However, if you’re noticing pain when you bite down on food this may be a root canal infection. Although this sounds intimidating, getting it treated is simple and a root canal specialist can help you to resolve the problem quickly and easily.

What causes a root canal infection?

As your root canal specialist will explain, an infection in this part of the mouth originates from damage or major wear and tear to the enamel on our teeth. When this happens it allows bacteria to get through the outer protection of our teeth and into the more porous dentin area of the tooth. When this starts to happen you will often notice a toothache and this is usually the moment that most patients will seek out a dentist or a root canal specialist.

How is a root canal infection treated?

When an infection gets into the roots of a tooth it’s not possible to deal with the problem as you would regular decay. The dentist will give you a local anesthetic so that they can access not just the top of the tooth but the roots too. A good root canal specialist can help to ensure that your discomfort is minimised during this part of the process. When they reach the roots, the infected material is cleared out and the hollow canals are then comprehensively cleaned to ensure that there is no remaining bacteria. The root canals are then filled with a special material - a thermoplastic substance - that can be heated and then compressed into the root canals, sealing them to avoid any risk of infection. Once the tooth has been filled, a crown is used to provide protection and seal off the tooth.

Does a root canal procedure hurt?

This is the most common question asked of a root canal specialist, as this tends to be a procedure that people are wary of. However, it shouldn’t cause you any more discomfort than any other invasive dental procedure, such as a filling. The range of equipment and anesthetics available today mean that your root canal treatment can be carried out in a way that will minimise your discomfort. While you may feel some sensations during the treatment itself, and some soreness afterwards, most people won’t experience actual pain.

Root canal aftercare

A tooth without roots still needs the same care as other teeth, including brushing and flossing and ensuring that your gums are healthy. It’s important to remember that you won’t have sensation in the tooth once the roots have been removed so try to avoid biting down on anything too hard, as this may cause damage. If you have any questions about the procedure - or the after care - ask your root canal specialist.

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