My tooth doesn’t even hurt! Why do I need a root canal?11 Nov 2016, by FAQs in
If you’ve ever had a bad toothache, you have experienced the effect of the pain, and just how helpless one is when that pain gets severe. Cases like this are easy to cause one to seek the care of a dental provider. An inflamed dental pulp may be extra sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, signaling the need for treatment.
Often times, we may be a little on the stubborn side and elect to simply work through the pain, hoping it may subside on its own. As the pain increases, so does our tendency to rely on pain medication, and then (almost magically) the pain begins to decrease until it finally resolves.
In a perfect and just world, all would be well. In the dental world (which is neither perfect nor just!), however, this is usually not the case. The inflamed pulp will eventually “give up” the struggle then die. This process (called necrosis) begins the phase where the pulp tissue is present but non-functional. There are two different functions of the pulp tissue. First, the pulp is sensory- that is, it serves to feel pain as a warning of a pending problem. Second, it provides allows an immune system to exist within the tooth. The immune system functions to prevent the entrance of irritating bacteria into the tooth and jaw structures. This phase of no pain is misleading for 2 important reasons:
Reason 1: With the pulp dead and nonfunctional, it cannot adequately feel pain and warn you of a problem.
Reason 2: The dead pulp tissue serves as a food source for irritating and disease-causing bacteria.
Reason 3: The lack of functional blood vessels keeps your immune system from detecting or removing these bacteria.
So the lack of pain does not serve as a valid marker for the lack of a problem. It is best to have your tooth evaluated at Eastlake Endodontics where specific diagnostic testing can determine the need for an endodontic procedure.