Blonde woman cringes in pain and touches a red hotspot on her cheek due to underlying tooth pain that needs root canal treatment

Tooth Pain: Do I Need a Root Canal?

June 30, 2023 2:01 am

A toothache can make it harder to eat, speak, sleep, and work. Pain can come and go, throb repeatedly, or radiate through your jaw and neck. Intense tooth pain can indicate a tooth infection that will require root canal treatment.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

Root canals treat tooth infections, which often cause significant pain. Early in the infection, you may notice increased tooth sensitivity, especially when drinking hot or cold liquids. As the infection worsens, you can experience an intense, throbbing tooth pain that radiates through your jaw, head, and neck. Bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth are other signs of infection. When tooth infections spread from the tooth pulp into the root, a pocket of foul-smelling and foul-tasting pus forms. Root canal therapy will remove the infection and damaged tissue from the inside of your tooth while preserving its outer structure.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Although root canals have a bad reputation, the procedure actually causes little to no pain because we use local anesthesia. The area around the infected tooth will be thoroughly numbed before the procedure begins. Once the anesthesia has set in, we cut a tiny hole in the top of the infected tooth. We then remove the tooth’s nerve and clean out the infected tissue so it doesn’t spread. Lastly, we fill the hole to protect the tooth from further infection. We may reinforce the tooth by capping it with a crown. Your tooth may feel temporarily sensitive for a few days after a root canal, but you should feel back to normal quite soon.

Root Canal Treatment in Grand Rapids, MI

In the distant past, infected teeth would need to be pulled. Modern root canal therapy allows the infected pulp to be removed without extracting your entire tooth! So if you think you may need a root canal or want to schedule an appointment for another service, please contact us today. We also invite you to keep up with your routine dental checkups so Dr. Kate Palmateer and Dr. Josh Palmateer can catch and treat underlying dental issues, such as infections that aren’t causing pain, before they cause serious damage.

Contact Us

Categorised in: