The enamel of your teeth is strong. Along with being able to bite and chew a variety of different foods, the outermost layer of your teeth protects the inner layers. While the enamel is exceptionally strong, it can still be faced with damage or decay, both of which can provide an access point for bacteria to get inside. Bacteria can then lead to a painful infection. This infection will not go away on its own. In fact, it only gets worse the longer it goes untreated. At Jeremy J Burke, DDS, PA, we can remove infections from your teeth, restoring your oral health and your quality of life, with a root canal procedure.
How Bacteria Gets Inside
When you look at your teeth in the mirror, all you see is the hard, protective outer layer. Hidden underneath this layer are several more layers. At the very inside of the tooth, there are hollow canals that lead to the roots of the teeth. This layer also houses the soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels that deliver essential nutrients, and nerves that allow you to sense heat, cold, and pressure. Bacteria can get into this inner layer through issues such as fractures, chips, or tooth decay. Once the bacteria get in, they do not leave. Instead, they fill the hollow canals and attack the pulp. The tissue becomes inflamed and this leads to severe pain.
The only way to remove a tooth infection is a root canal. Along with effectively removing the bacteria from the interior of the tooth, we also remove the pulp and the nerves as well. Once the pulp has been taken out, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. At the end of the procedure, a dental crown is placed to provide the tooth with strength and protect it from new infections.
How Do I Know if I Have an Infection?
There are several signs that can point toward an infection inside your tooth. Signs and symptoms include;
How Is an Infection Diagnosed and Treated?
If you suspect that you have an infected tooth, it is important that you call the office right away to schedule an appointment. During this appointment, we perform a thorough oral exam. We look at the condition of your teeth, checking for signs of damage and decay. We will also inspect the gum tissue around the teeth for signs of swelling.
Along with your visual exam, we take some dental x-rays. These images allow us to see the teeth and surrounding structures under the gums. We can check for damage to the roots, bone loss and dental abscesses. An abscess is a sac that forms when bacteria begin to spill out through the root of the tooth. It attempts to contain these bacteria and prevent them from causing further harm. They grow larger the longer treatment is put off. They are also more likely to rupture, which can cause significant health issues.
If an infection is detected, we move ahead with treatment. After a local anesthetic, and sedation if necessary, we drill a small hole into the top of the tooth. Next, small, specialized instruments are used to remove the pulp. Once the pulp has been removed, the canals are shaped, and the entire inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. We then fill the space with a material known as gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is prepared for, and topped with, a dental crown.
Infections in the teeth are serious issues that need to be addressed right away. If you notice any symptoms or suspect that you have an infected tooth, call Jeremy J Burke, DDS, PA to schedule your consultation today at (432) 653-2320.
What Our Patients Are Saying About Us
“Thumbs Up! Good service, Good people and a good atmosphere. I would recommend my friends to give them a call. They refer people to my business and have helped as well.”
~Sandra Hamm Carr.