The most common reasons you might need a root canal

The most common reasons you might need a root canal
August 28, 2019  | IN UNCATEGORIZED

Root canal. The very words can invoke fear in people and spur them to flee to the hills,

far away from any dentist office. But root canals are not as bad as their frightening reputation would lead us to


For a quick refresher, “endo” is Greek for “inside” and “odont” means “tooth.” Put them

together and endodontic treatment is the process of treating the inside of the tooth. Root canals are a type of

endodontic treatment. A quick look at a tooth’s anatomy can help further understand how root canals work.

The anatomy of a tooth

Underneath the white enamel and hard layer of dentin on our teeth is soft tissue pulp.

This pulp is full of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that combine to create harder surrounding tissue

of a tooth as it develops.

Pulp is critical as a tooth grows and develops. The pulp extends all the way from the

tooth’s crown to the root tips, connecting there with surrounding tissue. After a tooth emerges through the gum and

fully matures, it doesn’t need the pulp for continued health and function as the surrounding tissue provides

nourishment. In fact, tooth nerves at this point only offer sensory services in detecting hot and cold.

A root’s canals, in turn, start at the tip of a tooth root and reach into the pulp

chamber. This is a very strong and efficient system but a tooth weakens somewhat and becomes more susceptible to

fracture after a root canal procedure.

When is root canal treatment necessary?

If the pulp inside a root’s canal becomes infected or inflamed, it must be treated to

repair the immediate problem and avert further, more severe issues. Reasons leading to root canal treatment


  • A deeply decayed tooth
  • Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
  • A faulty crown placement or damaged crown
  • Cracks or chips in the tooth
  • An injured tooth causing pulp damage

Clinical reasons for root canal treatment are many, including infection from inflamed

pulp leading to abscess; however, there are also many other reasons to try to save your natural teeth. Proper

endodontic treatment lets you continue eating your favorite foods, keep your glowing smile, maintain an overall

healthy oral aura, and drastically reduce the need for continued dental work. In fact, teeth treated with root

canals typically last a lifetime and that is peace of mind, indeed.

Does damaged pulp need to be removed?

The short answer is yes. Damaged pulp breaks down and when that happens, bacteria starts

multiplying inside the pulp chamber and along with deteriorating pulp remnants, can cause infection, plenty of pain,

and abscessed teeth.

On top of that, an infected root canal can induce swelling that can spread to your neck,

head, and other areas of the face. Drainage issues can also develop from the root, starting with a hole forming in

the side of the tooth, causing liquid to drain into the gums or even through the cheek and into surrounding skin.

Severe root canal infections can also lead to bone loss near the root’s tip.

Fortunately, root canal treatment is highly effective at resolving unfavorable scenarios

like these.

What is a root canal?

It sounds complicated but root canal treatment is relatively straightforward. Inflamed or

infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and then filled and


The treatment removes bacteria from the root’s canal, prevents future infection, and

greatly increases chances of saving your natural teeth instead of replacing with artificial.

Common signs that root canal treatment is in your future

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is a good idea to visit your

dentist for a consultation and potentially schedule treatment.

  • Severe pain on or around a tooth when chewing or

    applying pressure

  • Discolored tooth (typically a darker color)
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after a hot or

    cold item (beverages, for example) has been removed

  • Pimples forming on the gums
  • Swelling or tender gums

Other times, oral issues sneak up on you with no symptoms at all, until the problem is

well established.

In all cases, be vigilant with oral care and get regular checkups.

For more information on root canal procedures, contact Beach City Dental at (714)

406-1691 or