Doctor's Notes on Root Canal
A root canal is a dental procedure performed to help save a natural tooth that has become diseased or infected. During this procedure, the pulp of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels, is removed. The inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Root canals typically happen because the damage to the pulp of the tooth can lead to infection.Pain is a common symptom of an infection or abscess in a tooth that would require a root canal procedure. Associated symptoms can include swelling of the face, neck, or head and bone loss in the jaw around the area of the affected tooth root. In severe cases, drainage of pus into the gums and soft tissues of the cheek can occur. The root canal procedure is done under anesthesia and typically relieves the tooth pain.
Root Canal Symptoms
Once root canal therapy has been completed and adequate time has passed to allow the tooth to recover from infection or inflammation, the tooth should be back to normal function. Signs and symptoms of failed root canal therapy include sensitivity to cold or hot, swelling, and/or pain from chewing. Follow-up with the dentist or endodontist is necessary to determine further treatment to resolve the symptoms.
Besides smiling, laughing, and communicating, the mouth and teeth serve important functions in the body. Teeth and saliva break down food, making it easier for the stomach to process it further for absorption by the intestines. The teeth provide structural support for the face. The mouth and throat contain immune cells that help protect the body against pathogens. Taking good care of the mouth and teeth is an essential part of maintaining good health. Here is a guide to some common oral health problems and procedures.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.