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How does My Dentist Know My Tooth is Infected?

Infection is one of the major problems for which root canal therapy is indicated. To diagnose infection in another part of the body, a medical practitioner will perform blood work. When it comes to teeth, the process isn’t quite so cut and dry. The experienced endodontist has the skill and innate ability to recognize problematic teeth, but also relies on scientific data and information obtained from the patient. Because root canal problems can be complex, it is important to consult with a highly trained dentist or endodontist to ensure the right treatment is performed.

The questions that need to be asked when assessing a damaged tooth include:

Is pulp tissue dying, or is it already dead?

With proper treatment, could pulp tissue recover from infection?

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Important Clues That you May Need Root Canal Therapy

Positional pain. If you experience sudden pain or worsening pain when you stand up or lie down, or move quickly, your tooth may be dead or abscessed.

Spontaneous pain. If you experience pain when you drink a warm or cold beverage, inflamed pulp may be able to recover with prompt treatment. Pain that comes and goes with no stimuli may indicate a dead tooth.

Referred pain. If pain exists in the mouth and is also felt in the jaw, face, or ear, there is a chance you could have an abscess.

This infection often stems from the root tip near the bone. It can be seen on x-ray imaging, and requires treatment in order to promote bone growth in the area.

Lingering pain. Pain that hangs around long after the trigger, like a hot or cold beverage, is an indication of infected pulp and a dead nerve. If your pain subside within a few minutes of drinking something hot or cold, the pulp may be able to recover with appropriate conservative treatment.

A fistula is a sore that appears on the gums. It may look like a small red, yellow, or white pimple. This lesion indicates that the body is trying to vent infectious materials. Because a fistula may develop away from the infected tooth, it is important to work with an experienced dentist who can identify which tooth needs treatment.

Moberi Dental Specialists offers uncompromised care to families in the Houston area. Don’t wait for pain to become unbearable. Schedule your visit with us today.

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