You may have been told recently by your Utah general dentist that you need a root canal. It may be painful, it may not. It may have swelling, or fever, or a whole range of symptoms, but root canals can happen from several reasons. Here are three main reasons you may be needing a root canal in Utah.
1) Decay or cavity that’s gone deep
One of the main causes of root canals I see. Usually a cavity will be discovered if you’re going to your dentist every six months and having your check-ups and regular fillings done, but life can get busy, and teeth can sometimes take a backseat to life! And if you aren’t able to stay on a regular oral hygiene regimen, you can get a cavity, which is really just bacteria eating away your tooth toward the center of it. As it reaches the center of the tooth, the bacteria spreads and causes pain due to the nerve tissue present in the tooth. This can manifest as hot/cold sensitivity, chewing pain, or even spontaneous throbbing.
2) Cracks that have progressed in your tooth
We all have micro-cracks and craze lines in our teeth, but occasionally those cracks get deeper, either with regular chewing over the years or nervous habits such as chewing ice or even popcorn kernels. As the crack progresses, it allows fluid to go in and out, along with bacteria that can colonize along the crack line. As it gets deep enough, the crack line can then cause inflammation in the pulp or nerve tissue of the tooth, and will have the same manifestations as a deep cavity. Temperature sensitivity, chewing sensitivity, and some aching in the tooth can be experienced.
Finally, trauma to the tooth may necessitate a root canal. If you fall and hit your tooth, get hit by a flying object, or even get bumped in the tooth over and over, it can cause trauma which may cut off the blood supply to the tooth. If the blood supply is cut off, the cells of the tooth starve for oxygen and needed nutrients and die off. This can show up in a tooth with no other signs, such as decay, so if you suspect anything like this has happened, your tooth may need to have a consultation appointment set up to properly diagnose it.
And that’s all for our 3 main reasons you may need a root canal. If you believe you’re having tooth issues, or if your tooth is currently causing you severe pain that makes your life miserable, please call us for a consultation in our Endodontic office located in Lehi, Utah today!