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You bite into a hamburger, and as your upper row of teeth descends into the soft hamburger bun – even before you cut into the actual burger itself, you feel pain. Pain, at the slightest bit of pressure on your tooth is never normal. More often than not, if you’re feeling pain when pressure is applied to your teeth, or you’re experiencing intense and persistent sensitivity to heat or cold (like when drinking your coffee), there’s a great chance that you need root canal treatment.

This is where you have two choices: get it taken care of, or hope it goes away.

Today we’re going to look at the consequences of each choice, and we’ll start with the choice to wait.

Unless you have a special body that somehow has the innate ability to reverse the effects of deep and aggressive infection, it is highly unlikely that your tooth pain will go away on its own. The underlying causes of a root canal will not be solved by brushing, flossing, or rinsing your mouth. No matter how hard you try, it’s just not going to work. This is because the procedure commonly referred to as a “root canal” is actually an infection inside your tooth, and just like an infected cut generally won’t go away without treatment, neither will an infected tooth.

Just like an infection elsewhere in your body, when left untreated, your dental infection will do what infections do best: it will spread. It can spread from the affected tooth, to other healthy teeth, or to your gums and the underlying bone structure of your jaw. There’s actually no limit to how far reaching the infection can go. The infection commonly treated by root canal therapy can even go so far as to prevent serious health issues or even death. This is why it’s imperative to not wait.

The benefit of getting your toothache “taken care of” by getting timely dental treatment (and likely receiving root canal treatment) is twofold. First, you alleviate the pain and discomfort it’s causing, this is always welcome news. Second, you save money. By getting your toothache taken care of quickly as possible, the underlying cause of the damage doesn’t have time to get worse. So if you think you’re saving money by toughing it out with a toothache – think again!

What To Expect (It’s Really Not That Bad)

Root canal treatment should take 2 or three dentist’s office and, despite popular sentiment, it’s actually fairly easy. If you’ve ever received a dental filling you already know how it feels. All your dentist needs to do is drill an access hole that allows her to carefully clean away infection and bacteria. Once this is complete, the hole is generally treated with antibacterial medicine, and then sealed with a temporary filling. Depending on the patient, this temporary filling can sometimes be replaced with a permanent filling and nothing more. Other patients will require a dental crown over the tooth for added protection and durability.

So, now you know: getting “worked up” about a little dental work is all fuss and no substance. If you’re experiencing a toothache, don’t hesitate and get to the dentist!

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