Aside from the toothache that it causes, many people don’t consider a cavity something serious to worry about. They know they’ll need to treat it eventually, but as long as the discomfort isn’t severe, it isn’t an emergency. However, waiting to treat a cavity is often what allows tooth decay to become so serious that it causes severe pain and discomfort in the tooth. When the infection reaches the tooth’s pulp and root canal, removing it with root canal treatment may be the only viable solution for treating it.

The threat of severe tooth infection

Tooth decay, or tooth infection, progresses through different stages as it erodes your tooth structure. The first stage, known as enamel erosion, is exactly what it sounds like – the erosion of the protective layer of enamel that surrounds your healthy teeth. Once this occurs, oral bacteria can infect the tooth’s main structure, and as it decays, it will leave behind an increasingly larger cavity. A large cavity can pose a threat to the integrity of the tooth structure, but the greater threat of severe tooth decay is the infection of the nerves and tissues inside of the pulp and root canal.

The point of root canal treatment

When the tissues inside of your tooth’s inner pulp chamber and root canal become infected, everything about your tooth decay will become much more sever. The discomfort in your tooth will no longer be a mild nuisance, but a more severe pain that will keep getting worse over time. The level of erosion your tooth structure has sustained can leave it much weaker, and the infected tissues inside of the tooth can spread the infection to the inside of the root canal. Root canal treatment can stop this from progressing further by removing the infected tissues and tooth structure from within the pulp and root canal.

After your root canal treatment

After successful root canal treatment, the threat that severe tooth decay poses will be gone for the time being, but the effects of its progression will remain. The tooth structure and tissues that were infected and removed will still be gone, and the impact to your tooth’s structural integrity will still be a factor. To complete your root canal treatment, we’ll fill and seal the root canal and pulp chamber using strong, biocompatible dental material. To fully restore the tooth, we may suggest placing a dental crown over the tooth’s structure to prevent further damage and restore its ability to function properly.

Learn if you need root canal treatment soon

When tooth decay reaches your tooth’s root canal, the threat to your long-term oral health becomes a lot more serious than you might realize. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500.