Tooth decay, when neglected, keeps on attacking the tooth until it reaches the pulp and develops bacterial infections in the core areas. Root canal treatment is suggested once the infection of the pulp is confirmed. There are various symptoms that hint on pulp infection. Since the nerves and blood vessels are affected, the tooth tends to become very sensitive towards extreme temperatures. Pain may occur while drinking hot and cold beverages.
Pain while eating is an early sign of infection. Also, pulp infection hampers the tooth firmness. So, loose tooth is also one of the symptoms that need to be addressed immediately.
After a certain period, the pain ceases because the infection moves from the pulp area in the crown of the tooth to the root canal. At this stage of infection, the pulp is completely dead. However, symptoms become more severe. Intolerable pain while chewing, swollen gums, swollen face, pus formation and discoloration of the affected tooth are some of the signs at this stage.
Once bacteria attack the root canal system, it is almost impossible to treat the infection with antibiotics since drugs cannot reach the affected area. Moreover, continual antibiotic treatment makes the bacteria resistant towards the drugs and treatment ceases to bring positive results. Damages caused to the pulp due to tooth decay, excessive wear and tear (attrition), numerous filling procedures or accidental tooth fractures are irreparable. In such cases, root canal treatment is the only solution to save the tooth.
A neglected pulp infection progresses to the bone that supports the tooth. This loosens the tooth and may lead to tooth loss. The main idea behind a root canal treatment is to restore the original tooth. This way it helps in maintaining the aesthetic as well as the functional aspect of your tooth for a long duration.