The Hot Tooth: How A Root Canal Will Save Your Tooth

When you have what is called a hot tooth, the pulp within your tooth is inflamed. This inflammation will cause pain, sometimes so severe it will bring you to the emergency room. Left untreated, a hot tooth can get infected, causing a tooth abscess. The pain associated with a root canal is minimal compared to the pain of a hot tooth, and there is no reason to fear root canal therapy once your tooth pulp is inflamed.

Tooth Pulp Becomes Inflamed for a Number of Reasons

The pulp inside your tooth gets inflamed when there is deep decay within the tooth. Inflammation can also occur if there have been too many procedures on the tooth, or if the tooth has a crack. An injury to the tooth from some type of blow can make the pulp inflamed. It is time to get a root canal when the pulp is inflamed, and ignoring the issue at this point will only lead to bigger problems like infection.

When the Need for a Root Canal is Ignored

Although it doesn't seem possible to ignore the pain of a hot tooth, some people avoid the dentist at all costs. Left untreated, a hot tooth that needs a root canal will eventually become infected. This is referred to as an abscessed tooth, and it an infection within your tooth that requires antibiotics. What gets complicated about a tooth that needs a root canal is that eventually, the abscess will kill the nerve. Without a nerve, the tooth won't hurt. Left untreated, this infection can spread throughout the jaw and eventually into the bloodstream. This infection can become life threatening if ignored for two long.

What Happens During a Root Canal

Just like a regular filling, the dentist will give you plenty of novocaine to numb your mouth. You will lie down in the dental chair, and when you are numb, the dentist will remove the top part of your tooth to expose the decay and inflamed pulp. The goal is to save your tooth, and this is done by preserving the physical integrity of your tooth. Once the root canals have been cleaned out, filler is placed within your tooth to keep the structure sound.

Getting a root canal procedure is much like getting a cavity filled. You spend your time in the dental chair, your mouth is numb, and the assistant is continually removing saliva from your mouth with a suction device. While you may feel pressure, it is unlikely that you will feel any pain once the novocaine becomes effective. While you may be worried about getting a root canal, rest assured that if you have a hot tooth, you are already in more pain than a root canal will cause.