When a tooth becomes infected, your body defenses are not really equipped to be able to heal it. The reason is that the inside of a tooth is a confined space, and there is no room for swelling or bringing in white blood cells to fight the infection.
So as the infected pulp tissue tries to swell, it becomes strangled and dies, and the infection begins to spread into the bone around the apex of the tooth.
This is why antibiotics don’t work for an infection inside a tooth. When a tooth becomes infected, we need to remove that infected tissue and seal the tooth. This is called a root canal treatment.
The root canal treatment
Many people worry about needing a root canal, thinking it will be painful. In actuality, with modern techniques, that is not usually the case. In fact, if the tissue inside the tooth is dead already, there isn’t any feeling there. A root canal treatment is the solution to a toothache, not its cause.
Even so, if the thought of needing a root canal makes you worry, we can offer you anxiolysis. This will make you so sleepy and relaxed that you probably won’t even remember your appointment. For more information, please see our sedation dentistry page.