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    Thread: Do I Really Need a Root Canal?

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Apr 2008

      Default Do I Really Need a Root Canal?

      Ten days ago I had my regular 6 month dental cleaning. The appointment included periodontal maintenance (the water spray treatment), and probing to check the depths of gum tissue. Prior to my appointment my teeth felt fine--I never had any problems. A day after the appointment one side of my face had terrible aches and excruciating shooting pains. The next day the pain settled in the area of a tooth that has a crown. My jaw and gums hurt and were sensitive to hot/cold and pressure on the tooth; I couldn't eat on that side of my mouth.

      I went back to my dentist and he took an xray and said the tooth (with the crown) has a slight infection, and he scheduled me for a root canal next month. He also prescribed an antibiotic, which I have been taking for about 5 days now. (Does the antibiotic heal the infection?) At this point the pain has almost completely subsided. I am wondering if I really do indeed need a root canal? If my tooth feels fine now, why would I need a root canal? Do you think the cause of the pain is simply that my tooth was jarred from what happened during the cleaning, and now it needs time to heal? Or does this sound like a precursor of something more serious? As I stated, the tooth (which is actually covered by a crown) was fine prior to the cleaning appointment.

      A new development is that now I have another crowned tooth on the other side of my mouth which is experiencing sensitivity to hot liquids. It's never done this before, but again, it seemed to set in after the cleaning. Maybe I should have this tooth xrayed? Maybe it needs a root canal? Or maybe I should give it time to "settle down." I am really confused. Thank you.
      Last edited by Cassie; 23rd April 2008 at 13:39.

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Oct 2005

      Default Re: Do I Really Need a Root Canal?

      Sometimes if you have pocketing present from bone loss caused by gum disease (gosh, what a convoluted sentence, sorry!) and the dentist cleans them out, then you can get a periodontal abscess forming. What happens is that the inflamed gum at the top of the pocket shrinks and traps bacteria and their waste products at the bottom of the pocket. This can cause a lot of pain and responds well to antibiotics.

      The kind of abscess that needs a root canal is a different story and would show up differently on an x-ray, again this would respond well in the short term to antibiotics, but in the long run needs either a root canal or an extraction.

      The sensitivity can be caused by inflammed gums shrinking back down and exposing some root surface that was previously covered. Try rubbing some Sensodyne toothpaste vigorously into the area with a finger 3 times a day.

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