Tooth infections and tooth decay are common in the United States. More than 90% of adults ages 20 and older have at least one cavity. When cavities are left untreated, they can lead to tooth infections. Dental infections are also responsible for 1 out of every 2,600 emergency room visits in the United States. Additionally, 47% of emergency room visits involving children are dental related. When you are experiencing a tooth infection, you may wonder, “Do I need a root canal?” Visiting a general dentist in Lake County, IL can help you determine the answer to the question “Do I need a root canal?”
What is a Tooth Infection?
Once your tooth is infected, you must take antibiotics in order to kill the infection. From there, you have two options. You can either save your tooth by getting root canal therapy in Lake County, IL or have the tooth extracted. A root canal procedure is relatively painless and allows you to keep your tooth.
A tooth infection is typically caused by untreated cavities or improperly filled cavities. When you have tooth decay or an untreated cavity, your tooth becomes exposed and vulnerable to infection. Since bacteria and other particles such as plaque and tartar build up in your mouth, having an untreated cavity can provide an access point for bacteria to enter your tooth. Once your tooth is infected, it can cause serious symptoms, including:
- Severe pain
- Swelling in your mouth and/or jaw
- Gum pain
- An abscess
If an infection causes an abscess, you can experience intense pain. A small pocket of white blood cells begins to form around the infected area, which can, in turn, cause extensive swelling in your mouth. The abscess dissipates once your infection is properly treated, but the pain can become incredibly severe, causing you to seek help from an emergency room or hospital.
Once a cavity exposures your tooth, an infection can reach the nerves in your teeth. The pain caused by an infection can occur immediately and without warning. You may feel like you need tooth extractions in Lake County.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
If you have been diagnosed with an infected tooth, you may ask yourself, “Do I need a root canal?” A root canal is the best way to treat an infected tooth because it preserves the tooth. The only other method of treatment is removing the infected tooth entirely, which can cause pain and swelling during your recovery. During a root canal procedure, an endodontist cleans the interior of your tooth, drills away decay around the cavity, and fills your tooth.
Once your tooth is treated and filled, you will come back to the office in order to have a crown put in. The crown caps the tooth, ensuring your tooth is no longer exposed to harmful bacteria. Root canals are outpatient procedures and cause very little discomfort.
Finding Root Canal Treatment Today
Practicing proper dental hygiene is important. Ensuring that your teeth, mouth, and gums are maintained can prevent painful problems such as cavities and infections. If you are dealing with an infected tooth and asking yourself, “Do I need a root canal?” the best way to know for sure is to make an appointment with your dentist at Greenwood Dental Care. In addition to root canal treatment, we also offer: