For most of our dental concerns, seeing the family dentist is the first and only appointment we need. But when you need specialized treatment for an injured tooth, an appointment with the doctor can not only save you pain and discomfort—it can even save your tooth.
Every tooth is protected by its hard enamel covering—in fact, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body—but it’s not perfect protection. Beneath that enamel lies less dense tissue called dentin, filled with tubules leading to the inner chamber of the tooth. This small inner chamber and the even more delicate canals inside each root of the tooth contain the sensitive dental pulp, which holds nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
If the pulp has been compromised through decay, injury, or infection, treatment needs to take place to prevent pain, further infection, and even bone and tooth loss. The diagnosis and treatment of the inner tooth are the special focus of endodontists like the doctor.
Which symptoms could be a clue that your inner tooth needs treatment?
- Sharp, severe pain when you bite down or put pressure on a tooth: This could be a sign that the pulp tissue inside is irritated, damaged, or infected.
- Continuous facial pain, toothache, redness or swelling around the tooth: These symptoms could be signs of pulp inflammation, infection, or abscess.
- Persistent sensitivity to heat and cold: Any sensitivity to temperature is a good reason to see the doctor. Cavities and even heavy-handed brushing can cause sensitivity for a few seconds after exposure to heat or cold. Any pain or sensitivity that lasts longer, though, could indicate pulp damage.
- Unexplained soreness or pressure in the jaws and teeth: Grinding your teeth and certain sinus conditions can cause these symptoms, but if you have ruled out obvious causes, the doctor should be consulted.
- A cracked or injured tooth: A crack or other injury can leave the pulp vulnerable to irritation, bacteria, and infection. Endodontists are trained to diagnose and treat the different varieties of tooth fractures, including crown, cusp, and root fractures.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, don’t put off endodontic treatment at our Gurnee, Illinois office. Once the inner tooth has suffered injury or infection, treatment should take place as soon as possible to prevent further damage to tooth, tissue, and bone. Endodontists work to save injured teeth with a variety of procedures, including root canals, endodontic surgeries on tooth and root structures, and placement of posts and cores to strengthen and stabilize teeth.
If you suspect that you have a tooth that needs endodontic treatment, call your endodontist, or, if you haven’t worked with an endodontist before, ask your regular dentist for a recommendation. Seeing a specialist trained in the latest and most effective endodontic techniques is the best option to save an injured tooth.