A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
What damages a tooth’s nerve and pulp in the first place?
Nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, signs to look for include:
1. Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
2. Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
3. Discolouration (a darkening) of the tooth
4. Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
5. A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
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