A Root Canal is a treatment used to eliminate pain, infection, and often times both from a tooth. When the inner core of a tooth becomes traumatized, its reaction is to swell just like any other part of your body. This swelling usually causes pain. The two most common causes of this trauma are cracked or fractured teeth and infection from cavities. Unfortunately your body’s immune system is not very effective inside your tooth even with antibiotics. A definitive dental treatment is required to eliminate the infection. For signs and symptoms of tooth pain, see our tooth ache page.
We often have patients that say “….this tooth was hurting really bad and suddenly it went away. So I thought it had gotten better.” This is usually not true. At some point during an episode of tooth pain the tooth “gives up” and the nerve dies. This is the pain relief that patients sometimes feel. However, while the pain may be gone the infection remains and will continue to be active and is a risk for swelling, pain, and fever.
A final point needs to be made about restoring root canal treated teeth. It weakens the core of the tooth and often requires a crown to prevent the tooth from fracture. Please see our crown page.