If you’re experiencing pain in your tooth, it can be very tempting to ignore it and hope that it goes away on its own. You may think the problem will fix itself or that there’s no reason to panic because you can always go see your dentist later. However, if you have an infected tooth, waiting to see a dentist could lead to bigger problems down the road and make your current tooth pain even worse. Here’s what happens if you ignore a root canal, plus steps you can take to avoid this scenario altogether.

What is a root canal

When bacteria infects any tooth’s pulp (the soft tissue inside your tooth), it can cause pain, swelling, and inflammation. In most cases, regular brushing and flossing prevent infections from occurring, but if you don’t treat an infected tooth promptly, that swelling can lead to an emergency condition known as acute apical periodontitis (AAP). This requires treatment within 48 hours. If left untreated for a longer period of time — as little as three days — it can lead to dry socket symptoms like facial pain, difficulty chewing and even infection throughout your jawbone. That’s why it’s essential to see your dentist immediately after experiencing any severe tooth pain or trauma.

Are root canals painful

It’s true that root canals can be uncomfortable. Because nerves run through tooth roots, when you have a tooth drilled and cleaned, it can feel like you’re experiencing pain from that area of your mouth even though your nerve endings are deep inside. But fortunately, most root canal patients only experience mild discomfort during and after their procedures—though everyone is different. If you have sharp or severe pain post-procedure (or hours later), don’t hesitate to contact us for support! We offer emergency root canal services in our Denver dental office with same-day appointments available upon request.

The dangers of a poorly treated toothache

Although it can be difficult to pinpoint why you’re feeling pain, there are several reasons you should see your dentist as soon as possible. First and foremost, ignoring tooth pain can lead to infection and swelling. If left untreated, that swelling could affect neighboring nerves and cause other symptoms. Ultimately, chronic infections could require extensive dental surgery or even extraction—all of which is best avoided with early treatment. The longer you wait for treatment, the more likely an emergency root canal procedure will be necessary to save your tooth.

Emergency root canal treatment (what it is and what to expect)

During a root canal, we remove diseased or infected tissue inside your tooth’s root to prevent an infection from spreading. We then clean and fill your empty tooth socket with a dental filling to keep your tooth strong. If you have any pain, sensitivity, or swelling around an infected tooth, call us right away—we can start treating it with antibiotics while you’re still in our office so you don’t have to undergo an emergency root canal.

How does a root canal work?

A root canal is a procedure performed to remove diseased or dead tissue inside of your tooth. This can help prevent infection and/or abscesses. During root canal treatment, your dentist will remove all infected or unhealthy pulp, leaving only healthy dental tissue in place. Once treated, your tooth can be saved! Dental crowns, bridges and other restorative procedures can then be placed. But what happens if you ignore your root canal symptoms?