It's important to look after your teeth when recovering from root canal treatment.
Avoid biting on hard foods until all of your treatment is complete.
In most cases, it's possible to prevent the need for further root canal treatment by:
- maintaining good oral hygiene
- not consuming too much sugary food
- giving up smoking (if you smoke)
Infection The pulp is made up of soft tissue that includes nerves and blood vessels. The pulp will begin to die if it's infected by bacteria. Bacteria can then multiply and spread.
The bacteria and the substances they release will eventually pass out of the end of the root canal through the small hole where the blood vessels and nerves enter.
This process will continue because there's nothing to stop more bacteria passing down the root canal, which causes the tissues around the end of the tooth to become red and swollen. This can make your tooth painful and, in extreme cases, your face may become swollen (known as a dental abscess).
There are two procedures to treat an infection in the root canal.
This can be done by either removing the tooth (extraction) or attempting to save it by removing the bacteria from the root canal system (root canal treatment).
After the bacteria has been removed, the root canal will be filled and the tooth sealed with a filling or crown. In most cases, the inflamed tissue at the end of the tooth will heal naturally.
Before having root canal treatment, you will usually be given a local anaesthetic. This means the procedure shouldn't be painful, and should be no more unpleasant than having a filling.