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Everything You Need to Know About Root Canal: Causes and Treatment Options

A root canal can be seriously painful, causing immense amounts of toothache from day to day. If you’re suffering from a root canal infection, you may benefit from a root canal procedure.

One of the biggest questions I am asked is if the root canal treatment is painful?

As a dentistry practitioner, I have noticed that many patients believe that root canal treatment is incredibly painful. However, the root canal procedure should not be painful and can save a tooth that may need to be removed later down the line. To learn more about root canal infections and their treatment, keep reading.

What Is A Root Canal, And What Causes It?

A root canal infection is an infection at the centre of a tooth, caused by:

  • Tooth decay – caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth, which is increased by a lack of saliva, poor oral hygiene, or eating and drinking too much sugar.
  • Leaky fillings.
  • Damage to the tooth – caused by trauma and impact upon the mouth.

Enamel coats the tooth, and dentine is the substance that forms the majority of the tooth to support the enamel. Underneath the dentin is the cementum, a hard substance that coats the tooth’s root. Underneath the cementum is the soft tissue at the tooth’s centre called the dental pulp. The root canal passes through all of these layers, and there can be more than one root canal in one tooth.

A root canal infection is when bacteria passes through all of the layers of the tooth and affects the dental pulp. You could suffer from pain when eating or drinking or notice pus oozing from the tooth. The tooth may also appear darker in colour. A bacterial root canal infection can be detected using an X-ray.

What Are The Treatments For A Root Canal?

To treat a root canal infection, your dentist must eliminate the bacteria from the tooth’s pulp. Antibiotics are ineffective in treating a root canal infection. Instead, there are two treatments for a root canal infection:

  • The removal of the tooth (this option is a last resort)
  • The removal of the bacteria from the root canal (this treatment is called a root canal treatment)

If the tooth is beyond salvage, then it must be removed. With a root canal treatment, your dentist will open the crown of the tooth and remove the bacteria, and any infected pulp from the root canal. The root canal is sealed using either a filling or crown. Your dentist Bentleigh East will usually enlarge and clean your root canal, making it easier to fill. A local anaesthetic prevents any pain, and the procedure is effective in most cases. This procedure is preferable to extract the tooth, as it is best to salvage natural teeth.

After the procedure, the inflammation in the gums surrounding the tooth will heal naturally, and sensitisation of the area will fade. You should eat only soft foods while recovering from this procedure, and painkillers can help to ease any pain or discomfort in the teeth and gums during recovery.


Root canal infections are painful and could signify that you need to take better care of your oral health. To avoid a root canal, avoid sugary foods and beverages, regularly brush and floss your teeth, and avoid smoking. If you have a root canal infection, this is a highly treatable condition, and you will gain relief from your symptoms following a pain-free root canal procedure. Contact Verve Dental to find out more.

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