While the teeth are incredibly strong, they can still face serious issues like physical trauma and decay. These issues can leave your teeth susceptible to serious complications. Not only are damaged and decayed teeth vulnerable to further damage, but they are also vulnerable to infections. If an infection does develop, North Atlanta Family Dentistry can help with a root canal.
How Do Teeth Become Infected?
Looking at your teeth in a mirror, they appear to be pretty simple structures. However, you are only able to see one layer of your teeth. Below the protective enamel layer, which is an incredibly hard substance, is the dentin layer. This layer, while also hard, is not quite as hard as the enamel. It contains hollow canals that lead to the roots of the teeth. Below the dentin is a hollow chamber, which houses the pulp, or soft tissue.
Your teeth are the hardest substance in your body. However, if physical damage or decay has affected them, they become compromised. Damage and decay that extends into the inner layers of the teeth can allow bacteria inside. The bacteria then begin to multiply and irritate the pulp, leading to inflammation. When this happens, you may experience severe tooth pain. If the infection goes untreated, bacteria can begin spilling out through the root of the tooth and into the jawbone. This leads to the formation of an abscess or a barrier that forms to contain the bacteria and prevent their spread. Abscesses can continue to grow larger, leading to bone loss as well as the potential for bacteria to escape and enter the bloodstream.
Symptoms of a Tooth Infection
Tooth pain is one of the most common symptoms of an infection. It is not the only one though. There are other symptoms that may occur, such as:
How Is an Infection Diagnosed?
Diagnosing an infection requires a thorough oral exam. We begin by looking over your teeth and gums. Your teeth are inspected for tooth damage and decay. Your gums are checked over for redness, swelling, and other signs of infection. We also take x-rays of your mouth, which enable us to see the hidden components of your mouth. We can spot root damage, bone loss, abscesses, and more. Once your infection has been diagnosed, we can then create a customized treatment plan that will help to restore the health of your mouth.
Treating an Infection With a Root Canal
Treating a tooth infection is done with a root canal. A root canal is performed under a local anesthetic. Sedation can be provided if necessary. Your procedure begins with the drilling of a small access hole at the top of the tooth. We use specialized tools to remove the infected pulp and the nerves through this access hole. Next, the canals are shaped, and then entire inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. The empty space is filled with a material called gutta percha, which helps to seal the canals and prevent reinfection. Finally, the tooth is provided with a dental crown, which helps to provide additional protection while also enabling the tooth to function normally.
If you notice any symptoms of an infection in your tooth, you should schedule an appointment right away. Call North Atlanta Family Dentistry today at (470) 387-0500 for more information.