Few things are worse than suffering from an emergency toothache. We know that no one plans on having an emergency, but you can be prepared for one by knowing what to do. In the case of a severe toothache, you may be in need of emergency treatment. That treatment often involves root canal therapy.
When is a Toothache an Emergency?
Not every toothache is an emergency, so it is important to know which details about a toothache actually put you in danger. If you experience either of these situations, you need to seek emergency dental treatment immediately.
1. Your toothache pain is unmanageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.
When the nerve inside a tooth is undergoing the process of dying, it goes through various stages that get progressively worse. You may reach a stage of pain that no longer responds to over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol.
When a nerve is in this condition, the only guaranteed way to eliminate the pain is to remove the nerve via root canal therapy. Many patients state that they feel immediate relief of their sharp toothache pain after the dentist removes the nerve.
2. You have swelling in the gums, face or neck.
Swelling is actually a more important indicator of danger than pain is. It is vital for you to understand that you can experience swelling in the gums, face and/or neck without any pain at all, and it is still dangerous! Swelling means that an infection is spreading and requires immediate intervention. The source of that infection is the tissue inside the tooth.
When your dentist performs root canal therapy, he removes all of the infected tissue from the hollow chamber within the tooth and sterilizes the space before filling it with a biocompatible material. The removal of this infected material is essential to stopping your infection. Taking antibiotics will only slow it down and NOT cure it.
How Does a Root Canal Therapy Relieve the Pain of a Toothache?
During a root canal treatment, your dentist “opens” the tooth to obtain access to the hollow chamber within, which houses the nerves and blood vessels of the pulp. This tissue is responsible for the sensation of pain inside your tooth. It can also contain infection if a large cavity allows bacteria to penetrate this internal chamber of the tooth.
Your dentist removes all of the pulp tissue and thoroughly cleans the inside of the tooth. He then fills the hollow spaces (canals) with an inert filling material that will not cause an inflammatory or immune reaction from your body. Removing the source of infection and pain allows your body to then heal from the toothache naturally.
More Questions about Root Canals?
Call Pearl Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with our root canal treatment experts. We can answer any question you have about emergency toothaches and root canals. We are also committed to providing emergency treatment to our patients every day.