A toothache is often inconvenient and uncomfortable, but for dentists, it's a clear sign that an effective treatment can be implemented. Many toothaches need root canals, also known as endodontic therapy, to provide relief and save the affected tooth from needing extraction. Dr. Thomas Kauffman, your Atlanta, GA dentist, routinely performs root canals for his patients who are experiencing toothaches, as well as other signs of infection inside the tooth. In this post, Dr. Kauffman explains the various symptoms that might suggest a root canal is needed.
Cavities that form on the surface of the teeth aren't usually painful. That's because the enamel, the hard outer covering of each tooth, does not have any nerve endings. It's when cavities are ignored or go undetected that they become invasive and start to have an effect on the inside of the teeth, which is made up of blood vessels, tissue, and nerves. This pain can range from mild to debilitating, but it needs to be evaluated by your dentist because it typically means there is an untreated infection.
Another precursor to a root canal can be the onset of tooth sensitivity, especially while drinking or eating very hot or cold beverages and food. This sensation is described by many people as a sharp tingle that may or may not last for a while after the stimulus is removed. To your Atlanta dentist, this may signal that the enamel is beginning to deteriorate and the dentin, the first layer of tissue underneath the enamel, is responding. Tooth sensitivity doesn't always mean you need a root canal, but it's definitely something that needs to be addressed by a professional.
Occasionally a tooth that needs a root canal will not have any immediate signs or symptoms, but the presence of advanced decay will show up on an x-ray during a dental appointment with Dr. Kauffman. Our cone beam imaging can help diagnose the origin of difficult to subtle pathology not visible on normal dental xrays. That's why it's so important to keep your twice-yearly checkups with your dentist so problems can be detected before pain or other complications set in.
If you've been experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, or just need to schedule a checkup, contact Dr. Kauffman's office in Atlanta, GA. We're here to help you maintain your dental health!