Ouch! If you have a toothache that is persistent, whether it’s throbbing, aching or piercing, don’t play the “wait and see” game. That pain may be trying to warn you about a serious tooth infection. Inside your tooth is a soft tissue area. When this is exposed to bacteria, an infection can set in. To remove the infection and prevent the tooth from needing to be extracted, Energy Corridor dentist Dr. Gray can perform root canal therapy in Houston, TX.
Despite what you may have heard, a root canal is not painful, and it is not time-consuming. On the contrary, root canal therapy is designed to eliminate the pain of an infected tooth by removing the infection and the innermost contents of your tooth. How does a tooth become infected? Let’s consider the basic structure of a tooth to find out…
Every tooth in your mouth is comprised of three layers. The outermost layer is enamel, which is extremely hard and provides your tooth with its attractive shine. The middle layer is called dentin and is filled with microscopic tubules that conduct sensation. At the core of each tooth is the pulp chamber, where blood, lymph, and nerve tissue live. When infected by bacteria, this tissue begins to die. The body’s natural response causes inflammation inside your tooth and that’s why you feel pain.
Other symptoms of an infected tooth include:
An infected tooth should not be ignored. Like elsewhere in the body, infection inside a tooth can also spread. Because of the mouth’s proximity to the brain, an extreme infection can actually be life threatening.
The first step during a root canal is the delivery of a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a biocompatible substance that hardens to support the remaining tooth structure and prevent recontamination. Then, Dr. Gray places a temporary filling to seal and protect the tooth.
Eventually, the tooth will be covered with a dental crown that will once again make it fully functional.
Contact the Houston, TX dental office of Dr. Mark Gray today if you have a toothache. We also serve the areas of Jacinto City, Galena Park, Pearland, Bellaire, and beyond.