It began with some discomfort on one side of your mouth. Then it hurt to chew. Now you’re wondering if you need a root canal or if your tooth needs to be pulled.
While the thought of having a root canal isn’t exciting for most people, neither is the thought of enduring extreme oral pain and a variety of other negative consequences that could occur if you continue to ignore your symptoms.
Meriem Boukadoum, DDS and her experienced team at 54th Street Dental in New York, City, routinely perform root canals.
Root canals relieve the pain of an infected tooth and prevent further oral and health complications. Here, we share with you the dangers of delaying your root canal in hopes of helping you understand why you should seek medical attention from Dr. Boukadoum as soon as you experience tooth or jaw pain.
An infection inside your tooth requires endodontic treatment
Hot and cold foods can cause minor discomfort in your teeth, but an infected tooth can cause debilitating pain on that side of your face, jaw, and neck. When the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected as a result of injury or decay, it can’t heal itself. Instead, you need the help of an experienced dentist, like Dr. Boukadoum, who knows exactly how to perform an endodontic procedure such as root canal therapy.
Your tooth pain doesn’t go away on its own because infection doesn’t simply get better. If you delay root canal treatment, the oral infection continues to get worse, and it can even lead to a very serious condition called septicemia — when the localized infection from your tooth spreads through your body. This can quickly become a dangerous health situation that you want to avoid at all costs.
A root canal relieves your pain
It’s a misconception popularized in the movies that root canals — and other dental procedures — cause pain. The fact of the matter is that many dental treatments, including root canal therapy, relieve intense oral pain.
When you choose to delay treatment, you’re choosing to endure unbearable pain that may prevent you from eating, sleeping, and getting through your day without issue.
A root canal can save your tooth
The goal of a root canal is to save your natural tooth and restore it to its full function. If you delay getting a root canal, the only alternative is to have your tooth extracted.
The root canal procedure removes the pulp and other infected material from the inside of your tooth and seals it with durable dental material. The treatment protects your tooth from further decay, which could mean the difference between losing the tooth completely or keeping it.
It’s always best to keep your natural teeth whenever possible. When you delay root canal therapy, you put yourself in danger of losing a natural tooth and enduring more complex dental work, including needing a dental implant or a bridge to fill the gap in your mouth if you lose the tooth.
A root canal is easier than you think
Depending on the severity of your condition, root canal treatment is easier than you realize. Making a small hole in the infected tooth, your dentist carefully removes the infected pulp and nerves and then cleans and seals the tooth.
The process is relatively painless and saves your natural tooth and root, allowing you to chew again without pain. At 54th Street Dental, your comfort during a root canal treatment is one of our highest priorities, so we give you anesthesia before beginning.
If you need a crown to protect your tooth afterward, you come back to the office for a second visit so we can put the crown in place once your tooth has had time to heal from the root canal procedure.
A root canal helps improve your oral health
Ultimately, when you take care of a damaged or infected tooth early enough, you also help prevent further decay or damage to the surrounding teeth and gums. In the long run, if you maintain a good oral hygiene routine and schedule regular dental visits, your mouth should be healthier overall after root canal therapy.
If you have any kind of pain in your mouth or jaw, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boukadoum at 54th Street Dental. Either call the office at 212-333-3200 or request an appointment online.