If you have a tooth that’s become infected, it’s a threat not only to that tooth, but also to your other teeth, your overall health, and even your life. Fortunately, an infected tooth can be treated with root canal therapy to restore it to make it a functional part of a healthy mouth. People often fear that a root canal treatment will be painful, but the truth is that a root canal treatment actually relieves pain. An infected tooth can be very painful, and after treatment, your pain will be relieved.

If you know or suspect you might need root canal therapy in Harriman, please call

(845) 783-6466 today for an appointment at Harriman Family Dental.

Learn more about your root canal here!

Symptoms of an Infected (Abscessed) Tooth

Root canal therapy is used to treat an infected tooth, also called an abscessed tooth. Some symptoms of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Intense pain in your tooth–you may have trouble sleeping
  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure that lingers for several minutes
  • Bad breath or foul taste in mouth
  • Pimple on your gums
  • Localized warm spot on your teeth
  • Fever

Pain is what most people associate with an infected tooth, and it’s very common to experience very bad pain in an infected tooth. The pain can be spontaneous or in response to heat, cold, or touch. The pain might also linger for a long time, and may be felt simultaneously radiating out to your head, back, or arms.

But it’s important not to lean too much on pain as an indicator of problems. Sometimes people with an infected tooth have no pain. And sometimes the pain will stop, even though the infection is continuing.

Bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth comes from the presence of bacteria in your mouth that “breathe” sulfur instead of oxygen. These are called anaerobic bacteria, and they flourish in areas isolated from oxygen, like in your gums or the interior of your tooth.

As the bacteria attack your tooth from inside, they can work through the tooth and out into your jaw. This can cause pimples or localized warm spots on your jaw.

And the infection can cause you to experience fever.

Why Treat an Infected Tooth

You might be tempted to put off treatment for your infected tooth, but it’s important to get it treated quickly. That’s because:

  • Quick treatment can preserve your tooth
  • Infection can spread to jaw and other teeth
  • Infection can cause serious, life-threatening complications

Once your tooth is infected, oral bacteria begin destroying it from within. The sooner you get treatment, the more likely it is that we can save your tooth. A tooth treated with a root canal can actually remain functional for 10 or 20 years, or more.

And if your tooth is not treated soon enough, the infection can spread into your jaw and other teeth. This not only endangers this tooth, it endangers neighboring teeth. And it can even prevent you from getting dental implants at the site of the infection.

And once the infection has spread from your tooth, it can go elsewhere in the body. An abscessed tooth can cause a sinus infection that then spreads to the brain, which can be lethal.

Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

Fear of pain is one of the things that keeps many people from getting a root canal on a timely basis, but the reputation of root canal therapy is not justified. It comes from the origins of the procedure, which predate the use of dental anesthesia. During a modern root canal procedure, you will feel little, if any, discomfort. After the procedure, it will only take a few days before your pain level is well below what it was before the procedure.

Are you in need of root canal therapy in Harriman? Please call (845) 783-6466 today for an appointment at Harriman Family Dental.