The Seriousness of an Infected Root Canal

When a tooth experiences severe, internal decay, the problem isn’t typically a discreet one. Severe tooth decay means that the decay, or infection, in your tooth’s structure has reached the vulnerable pulp chamber of the tooth. This not only causes intense levels of discomfort, but can also threaten the root canal that’s connected to the tooth’s pulp chamber. Today, we examine the seriousness of an infected root canal, and why it’s important to seek root canal treatment if your tooth decay becomes this severe.

A tooth’s root and its inner canal

Though you don’t actually see your tooth’s root when you smile, it plays several significant roles in your oral health, bite function, and more. For example, the root of your tooth is what anchors it to your dental ridge. Every time you bite and chew, it’s the root that keeps the crown of your tooth steady. Inside of a tooth’s root is a canal through which your tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and other vital tissues travel from the tooth’s pulp chamber to your jawbone structure. These tissues and nerves are highly sensitive, and if your tooth decay becomes severe enough, it can reach the pulp chamber and immediately threaten the tooth’s tissues and root canal.

The progression of the tooth’s decay

Not all cases of tooth decay involve the infection of a tooth’s inner pulp chamber. In fact, many people treat and stop their tooth decay from progressing while it’s still in its mild to moderate stages. When treated early, decay can often be successfully managed by cleaning and filling the cavity it has formed in your tooth’s main structure. However, in more severe cases, the infection in your tooth can reach the pulp chamber at the center of it, leaving a larger cavity in the main part of the tooth’s structure. Both the cavity and the infection within the tooth’s pulp can significantly compromise the tooth’s health and integrity.

Treating a tooth’s infected root canal

When you treat a mild cavity, the process involves removing the minor amount of tooth structure that’s become infected, then filling the cavity to strengthen the tooth’s integrity. When treating more severe tooth decay, saving the infected pulp and root canal can be a more complex procedure. Known as root canal treatment, it involves carefully removing the tooth structure and tooth tissues that have become infected. This requires cleaning the infection out of the tooth’s pulp and the root canal that’s connected to it, then sealing these chambers with biocompatible material to protect and restore the tooth’s structural integrity.

Learn more about root canal treatment

A tooth’s root is essential to its health and integrity. When its canal becomes exposed to infection, it’s important to address it as soon as possible to save the tooth. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234.