If you feel pain in your tooth while you're drinking or eating something hot or cold you might need a root canal. The sensitivity can manifest itself as a sharp pain or a dull ache, and if you can feel it for a longer period of time, even after you finish drinking or earing.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
For those needing a root canal, the sensitivity and pain from the hot and cold lingers long after the drink or food.
A dentist can tap on the problem tooth to determine whether pain appears when adequate pressure is applied. The painful feeling can mean that a root canal is required.
In many cases, a toothache is caused by a cavity that can be treated without the need for a root canal. However, we find that intense pain can often be due to an infection severe enough to warrant a root canal.
Severe Tooth Pain and/or Sensitivity
Tooth pain and sensitivity could indicate that you need a filling or a root canal. If the pain is persistent and strong, or if your teeth feel particularly weak, it is likely that your tooth's pulp is damaged and that you will need a root canal.
If you wait a long time to undergo a root canal, bacteria will attack the tip of the tooth's root, causing serious bone loss. Such bone loss can result in tooth loss.
Tooth nerve pain can feel severe like a sharp, stabbing pain or as little as a dull ache. If your tooth nerve is exposed, particular foods and drinks will probably trigger the pain. Pain in an exposed tooth nerve can be triggered by foods and drinks that are hot or cold, sugary, acidic, or sour.
When you get an x-ray, this will give definitive proof that you need to get a root canal. The x-ray gives the dentist a clear view of any infection in the tooth especially one at the root of the tooth.
Some Minor Pain Is Normal After Root Canal Treatment
Soon, the discomfort will go away, but until then, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are a few reasons that you may experience some pain even though the nerve of your tooth has been removed during root canal therapy.
A root canal infection brings severe pain in its wake. The pain intensifies when you bite down or place pressure on the affected tooth. Additionally, you may experience tooth sensitivity when you eat hot or cold food and drinks. The pain can also originate from inflammation of the gums.
If the infection has seeped into the tooth's pulp, then root canal therapy becomes unavoidable. On the contrary, fillings can be used instead of a root canal if the tooth has a smaller cavity or a minor decay, which has not yet reached the pulp.
Initial Root Canal Recovery Time
Your tooth will be numb for up to four hours after a root canal. You'll be able to return to work or school on the same day after your root canal treatment.
If the deepest layers of the pulp become infected, it may be too late to save the tooth. In addition, if a large portion of the tooth is lost and a crown cannot be placed on what's left, root canal treatment is no longer a viable solution.
Avoid any kind of alcohol or tobacco for at least 24 hours before the root canal to prepare your gums for the local anesthetic. Get a full night of sleep the evening before the procedure. Take an anti-inflammatory painkiller before you arrive at the endodontist's office.
Apply an ice pack to soothe and calm the pain. Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as Ibuprofen to help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Try a saltwater gargle. Saltwater can help fight infection after root canals and ease the pain.
The average root canal treatment is 30 to 60 minutes long. More complex cases may take around 90 minutes. A root canal typically requires one or two appointments to complete.
Your dentist can perform an examination and do an x-ray to determine what is causing the pain that you're experiencing. If the pain is isolated to just one tooth, infection or irritation of the nerves of that tooth are most likely the cause.
Although any tooth can have decay form and need a root canal, the back molars are the most common teeth to need root canals.
Most antibiotics like Amoxicillin are not viable to cure a root canal infection. Once the disease has reached its roots, it means the blood vessels with antibacterial defenses have broken down. Hence, antibiotics cannot penetrate inside the tooth into the root where the problem lies.
As soon as you find out you need a root canal, you need antibiotics right away. Don't delay! It could turn into a life-threatening condition if you don't.
The root canal procedure is completed in two separate visits to ensure that the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out, sealed up, and protected from further damage.