One of our biggest concerns in the dental profession is infection. Whether it’s a cracked tooth, deep decay, or tooth trauma, infection can occur at any time. Sometimes infection is silent and other times infection is painful. Either way, the infection present must be addressed to prevent further health issues.
Infection occurs when the pulp of the tooth becomes damaged and irreparable. As the nerve of the tooth begins to break down the infection will grow larger and larger until it finds a way to drain. Until then, that pressure can become very painful. Therefore, people experience pain, swelling, and throbbing. Because the infection stems from a tooth that has become necrotic (died), the nerve of the tooth where it previously got its blood supply from needs to be removed. Once the nerve is removed the tooth is cleaned and sealed. This removes the source of infection while maintaining the tooth.
It is better to save the tooth than to have the tooth pulled out. There are several negative consequences to losing a tooth. First, teeth are important for our smiles. They aid in speech and chewing as well. Teeth maintain the shape of our face. When teeth are missing, a face can appear sunken in. Missing teeth create a difficulty to properly chew and digest food. And finally, missing teeth create gaps and spaces that allow other teeth to shift and move ultimately leading to more tooth loss.
It’s important to discuss all options with your dental health care professional to make the decision that is best.
Until next time,
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring