Do you experience sudden, sharp shooting pain while eating ice cream? Do you wake up at night with throbbing pain in your tooth? Do you get sudden swelling around teeth out of blue? Well these are some of the signs which suggest, you require a dental treatment commonly known as RCT ( root canal treatment )
Today, we are going to see when you require root canal treatment, but before that, let’s understand the anatomy of teeth.
The tooth is made up of three layers.
Outermost is called enamel. This enamel is formed by hydroxyapatite crystals and it is the strongest substance in the human body. (Stronger than bone )
The second layer is called Dentine. This Dentine is made up of dentinal tubules and these micro dentinal tubules contain nerve endings. The Dentine is resilient and softer than enamel.
The innermost layer is known as pulp. This pulp is vital to tissue, contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. It gives vitality to a tooth, pulp provides nutrition to the tooth during development.
When decay starts, it involves the outermost layer first. Microorganisms that are attached to the tooth surface, secrete acids and these acids dissolve hydroxyapatite crystals and decay starts at the enamel level.
As there are no nerves in enamel, there are no signs of pain. But black spots appear on the tooth. Whenever you see the black spots on teeth, it’s the right time to visit a dentist for a check-up and do the necessary treatment. These black spots on teeth are the first indication of decay, and if treated in time, avoid further treatment of the root canal.
The dentist will remove this decay, clean the cavity and fill it with a tooth-colored restorative material. If left untreated, the decay involves Dentine and quickly propagates towards pulp.
Let’s see some conditions which require root canal treatment.
1) Sensitivity to hot and cold:-
This is the most common reason when patients visit the dentist. Sensitivity to hot, cold & sweet is usually indicated of reversible pulpitis. When decay reaches a pulp, it provides the pathway for microorganisms and another stimulus to reach to nerves. Change in temperature is acting as stimulation to nerves and pain starts. Once this stimulus is removed, there is no pain this reversible pulpitis is the first indication, the tooth may require root canal treatment.
2) Pain at night. :-
Symptoms of sensitivity if ignored lead to tooth pain while sleeping. This happens due to a change in the hydrodynamic structure of pulp tissue. This typical sign is a clear indication that suggests decay has reached nerves and definitely requires root canal treatment.
3) throbbing continues pain:-
Once decay reaches nerves, it also provides a path for microorganisms and other toxins to reach nerves. These microorganisms and toxins cause inflammation of nerves and throbbing pain starts. This is a very disturbing pain, which won’t allow the patient to do anything. Even after taking anti-inflammatory medicines, the pain stops for a while and again reappear.
At this stage, root canal treatment is a must.
4) Swelling associated with tooth:-
Sometimes, there is sudden swelling appears and associated with decayed tooth/teeth. This is a painful condition. In this case, the pulp is degenerated ( dead ) due to microorganisms reaching the pulp. This dead pulp ( necrosis ) Provides the pathway for microorganisms to reach the end of the tooth, and it reaches the bone. Microorganisms grow in the bone and form pus. This accumulation of pus leads to Swelling. Swelling is usually very painful and requires immediate attention and treatment.
Sometimes, there is small swelling associated with the tooth, and there is a sinus that drains the pus. In this case, there is no pain associated. Because whenever pus accumulates, it gradually drained through this sinus and the patient never feels any pain. But this tooth also requires root canal treatment. These are some of the most commonly appearing signs which require root canal treatment. You can see the video about root canal treatment here
Also, read more about root canal treatment