Sometimes a tooth’s nerve can become agitated. This is typically from a traumatizing event or from a very deep cavity. If the nerve is affected enough it can become inflamed and will result in a toothache. Or it may progress to the point that the tooth dies and experiences no sensation whatsoever. After a time the tooth will develop an abscess around the root tips which leads to further pain and discomfort. Often this will include swelling and pus formation. The infection in the tooth must be removed either by extracting the tooth, or by performing a root canal.
The root canal involves removing the affected nerve and blood vessels, cleaning out the canal, and then filling the tooth with a biologically friendly material that prevents the return of the infection. There are many myths about root canals, but despite what you may have heard they are a pain-free procedure and very helpful in the preservation of the average set of teeth. If your tooth needs special attention due to tight canals, severely curved roots, or any other condition that makes the root canal treatment more difficult than is usual, you may be referred to an Endodontist who specializes in root canals.