Signs That You May Need to See an Endodontist

An endodontist is a type of dentist that specializes in treatment of the root of the teeth, or the soft tissue under the hard part of the tooth enamel. The most common treatment they offer is what's called a root canal, which removes that soft tissue and "roots" of the teeth altogether. This is often done when that soft tissue becomes infected or otherwise untreatable, and in turn puts you at risk for tooth loss.

A root canal procedure can protect the tooth itself from coming loose but also protects the tissue and even the bones of the jaw, as an infection in this tissue can spread to those areas. Losing a tooth can also mean those underlying tissues are now exposed and they can harbor germs and bacteria. This too can affect your overall oral health. While no one wants to think about getting a root canal, note some signs that this procedure may be necessary for you.

1. Deep Tooth Decay

When you have very deep tooth decay, you may be able to see the dark areas of the inner part of your teeth from the outside. If you notice that the middle or lower part of your teeth seem dark or even black, this is a sign that you have decay on the inside of your teeth. This decay can affect the root or pulp of the teeth and in turn, that pulp may need to be extracted through a root canal procedure.

Deep tooth decay can also show up as a very deep cavity. You may be able to look at the top of your teeth and notice that they're cracked and open, and the pulp may be exposed. This type of deep decay puts that pulp at risk of infection.

2. Inflamed Gums

Inflamed gums are a sign of gum disease, which is a chronic bacterial infection in the gums. This infection can spread to the root of the teeth and cause an infection in that pulp. In turn it may need to be removed, if you do not respond to medication and if the inflammation continues to return.

3. Tooth Abscess

If a tooth gets infected and does not heal properly, this can cause pus to develop at the root of the tooth. This is referred to as a tooth abscess and this too may require a root canal to remove. In turn the tooth will be protected and the abscess or pus will not spread to other teeth.

For more information, contact Inner West Endodontics