Symptom: Constant severe pain and pressure, swelling of the gum and sensitivity to touch.
Possible problem: A tooth may have an infection/abscess that has spread from the pulp into the surrounding periodontal tissues (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth) and bone.
What to do:
See your dentist immediately.
A root canal will probably be required.
Don't wait for the pain to get worse.
The procedure begins by administering a local anaesthetic to relieve pain. This will numb the tooth and surrounding area so that the treatment is no more uncomfortable than a filling.
A common misconception is that root canal treatment is a painful experience when in actuality, it's quite the opposite.
A small opening in the chewing surface of your tooth is created to gain access to the pulp. Very small instruments are used to remove dead and dying tissue and clean the pulp from the inside, allowing the root canals to be cleaned and disinfected.
The canals are specially “shaped” and prepared so that they can be sealed with biocompatible filling materials. They are coated with an adhesive cement to ensure that they are completely sealed to prevent future infection.
It is becoming increasingly common today for root canal specialists to use Microscopes for these intricate and detailed procedures to make the cleaning and shaping process more precise and efficient.
The first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel tender or sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure.
Most discomfort can be relieved by over-the-counter (OTC) medication. If you have discomfort or pain that lasts more than a few days or if there are other increasing symptoms, call your dentist. Prescription medications including antibiotics may be indicated.
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have seen your dentist, particularly if part of the tooth has been lost to decay, a large filling or trauma. A crown or other restoration is usually needed to further protect and restore the tooth to full function and is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Studies have also shown that getting root canal treatment provides a longer-lasting solution than having a diseased tooth removed and replaced with fixed bridgework, which can fail over time. Suffice it to say, there is nothing like your natural teeth.
Root canal doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it.