Caucasian woman having a sinus infection and drinking hot tea

Sinus Infections and Toothaches: Are they related?

Having a sinus infection may actually be more than just a stuffy or runny nose. It could mean that you have a tooth infection, even if it isn’t paired with tooth pain.

Why can sinus symptoms be related to your teeth?

Due to the anatomy of the roots of the teeth, your tooth roots nearly touch your sinuses. This air-filled space positioned behind your cheekbones is referred to as the maxillary sinus. Because of the close proximity, if one of your tooth’s roots becomes infected it can easily spread to the maxillary sinus.

If you are having a toothache and begin to experience some nasal drainage, make sure to reach out for an examination by your dentist. Should the infection in your root be to an advanced stage, they may refer you to an endodontist for a root canal consultation.

Because sinus symptoms do not always present with tooth pain it can take a while to diagnose problems. As a result, this condition may go on for years before it is recognized. Endodontists are specially trained and equipped to diagnose and treat this condition.

Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you may want to reach out to your dentist or physician about your sinus infection and possible tooth infection.

  • Tooth or jaw pain
  • Chronic sinus pain or pressure
  • You’ve had tooth infections in the past
  • You’ve had an endodontic, oral, or periodontal treatment
  • A recent tooth extractions

One common difference between a tooth-related sinus infection and a traditional sinus infection is that if a tooth root is causing the problem it will typically present on one side of the face or mouth. It may also cause facial swelling not observed in a regular sinus infection.

Treatment

Root canals are the most common treatment for an infected tooth root. Because such an issue can cause discomfort and even severe dental pain, endodontists perform a root canal to remove the diseased nerve of the tooth, which is called the pulp.  

After the pulp is removed, the endodontist cleans and disinfects the root canals and then fills the space with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.

After the root canal is completed, you should make an appointment with your general dentist for a final filling or crown to restore the tooth’s full function.

Sometimes, if you are suffering from recurring sinus infections or if you have to wait for any reason to get root canal treatment, your physician may prescribe antibiotics. 

While antibiotics will resolve the patient’s sinus symptoms temporarily, the antibiotics are incapable of reaching the source of the infection inside the tooth. Once the antibiotics are ceased, the infection will slowly re-emerge from the tooth and spread back into the sinus and the symptoms will often recur many months later.

If you are needing an endodontic treatment for an infected tooth that is causing sinus infection, our team at Cumberland Valley Endodontics is ready to help. Schedule your consultation today.

Endodontist Extraction Equipment

Is a root canal procedure absolutely necessary?

If your dentist has recommended seeing an endodontist about a tooth that may need a root canal, you may be asking yourself if having a root canal is absolutely necessary?

What is a Root Canal?

During root canal treatment, an endodontist who specializes in such treatment carefully removes the pulp inside the tooth, cleans, disinfects, and shapes the root canals, and places a filling to seal the space.

For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your endodontist’s instructions carefully.

How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal?

Although a toothache can be a sign that you need to see an endodontist, sometimes teeth with more subtle symptoms might need endodontic treatment as well.  Even if you are not in pain, if you are experiencing prolonged sensitivity to heat or chewing on a tooth, it could be a sign that you should see an endodontist.

Another sign that you might need to see an endodontist could be if you notice a small bubble on the gum around your tooth.  This bubble is called a fistula, which can be a sign of an infected tooth nerve that must be treated by an endodontist. 

Since endodontists have expertise in diagnosing the reason for tooth pain and saving teeth, if you are experiencing a toothache don’t wait to make an appointment for an endodontic evaluation.

Root Canal vs Extraction

If possible, it is better to save a tooth than to immediately default to extracting a tooth. Root canals haven’t always had the best reputation, but advances in technology have greatly improved patient comfort during and after the procedure.

While the ideal outcome of endodontic treatment is to save the tooth, your endodontist may conclude that your tooth was unable to be saved. Here are several reasons why your endodontist may opt to remove a tooth rather than proceed with treatment:

  • Natural tooth structure destruction
  • Periodontal issues/Gum Disease
  • Root Resorption
  • Fractured roots
  • Problems with the tissue surrounding the root
  • Trauma
  • Issues with adjacent teeth

If you think you may need a root canal, call today to schedule a consultation at Cumberland Valley Endodontics.

abscess tooth pain

Tooth abscess treatment

A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form inside the teeth, in the gums, or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. It’s caused by a bacterial infection. Dental abscesses are often painful, but not always. In either case, they should be looked at by a dentist.

It’s important to get help as soon as possible, as abscesses do not go away on their own.

Treatment options: 

  • Open and drain the abscess: The dentist will make a small incision into the abscess, allowing the pus to drain out, and then wash the area with saline. 
  • Perform a root canal: This can help eliminate the infection and save your tooth. To do this, your endodontist drills down into your tooth removes the diseased central tissue (pulp), and drains the abscess. They will then fill and seal the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. The tooth may be capped with a crown to make it stronger, especially if this is a back tooth. If you care for your restored tooth properly, it can last a lifetime.
  • Pull the affected tooth: If the affected tooth can’t be saved, your dentist will extract the tooth and drain the abscess to get rid of the infection.
  • Prescribe antibiotics: If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, you may not need antibiotics. But if the infection has spread to nearby teeth, your jaw, or other areas, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to stop it from spreading further. They may also recommend antibiotics if you have a weakened immune system.

How do I know if I have an abscess? 

The main symptoms of an abscess in your tooth or gum may include:

  • an intense throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets gradually worse
  • pain that spreads to your ear, jaw, and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum
  • pain that’s worse when lying down, which may disturb your sleep
  • redness and swelling in your face
  • a tender, discolored, or a loose tooth
  • shiny, red, and swollen gums
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
  • bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

If the infection spreads, you may develop a fever and feel generally unwell. In severe cases, you may find it hard to fully open your mouth and have difficulty swallowing or breathing. 

Periodontal Infection:

A periodontal abscess usually results from periodontitis or gum disease and is more common among adults. Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of the tissues around the teeth. As gum disease progresses, the bacteria gain access to deeper tissues.

You’re more likely to develop tooth infections if you:

  • Smoke: Smokers are about twice as likely to get tooth infections as nonsmokers.
  • Have dry mouth: Bacteria thrive in a mouth with a low amount of saliva.
  • Have poor dental hygiene: Regularly brushing, flossing, and getting dental cleanings reduces bacteria.
  • Have a weakened immune system: Diseases or medications can lower your immune response, making it harder to fight off germs.

If you think you have an abscess, you should see a dentist as soon as possible to avoid severe symptoms from the infection. While you are waiting to see a dentist, over-the-counter pain relievers can help control your pain. While ibuprofen is the preferred pain reliever for dental abscesses, other over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen can offer temporary relief.  While these medications help with pain, they do not cure the abscess so you should not use them to delay treatment

Contact our office to schedule an appointment or to answer any questions you may have. 

endodontist retreatment

Can root canal treatment be repeated?

Sometimes, a tooth doesn’t respond and heal as expected after a root canal. Retreatment of the root canal may be required with an endodontic appointment. 

This may be for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Root canals that are narrow or with curved canal systems that were not treated during the original procedure
  • Complex root canal anatomy that was undetected during the initial procedure
  • During the first procedure, the canal system may have been contaminated from the crown not being placed quickly enough
  • Saliva may have been introduced into the tooth from improper restoration causing contamination
  • A new infection brought on by new tooth decay that can expose the root canal filling to bacteria
  • Crowns or filling material can become loose, cracked, or broken exposing the tooth to new infection

It may be necessary in those cases to perform a second root canal treatment. The second root canal will likely be more complicated or challenging than the first one, requiring an endodontist.

During this procedure, the filling material must be removed from the canal, and the endodontist will explore new or untreated root canals. Retreatment procedures usually require an operating microscope, ultrasound, and digital imaging. Once completed, the root system is sealed with new canal filling material. Repeat root canal treatments are often completed with endodontic surgery.

All available options and appropriate treatments will be discussed with you and your endodontist will provide the best recommendations based on your specific treatment needs. Contact our office Cumberland Valley Endodontics if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation.

My Post 2 (1)

What happens if my root canal fails?

Root canal treatments can last a lifetime with proper care and healing after the procedure. However, if your root canal fails there are options to help relieve any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. 

Can you retreat a failed root canal?

Yes, if you develop new issues or there was a problem with your treatment. 

Although it is always the goal of an endodontist to save your natural tooth, if your previous root canal fails, schedule a consultation with an endodontist to see what your options are for retreatment.

Why would I need another treatment?

There are several reasons why your endodontic treatment might have not healed correctly. Depending on the anatomy of the canals of your teeth,  more narrow or curved canals might not have been fully treated during your first procedure. 

Another reason for a root canal failure can be because the tooth did not receive a permanent restoration in a timely manner.  Usually, the endodontist finishes a root canal by placing a temporary restoration during the healing process and refers back to the general dentist for the permanent one.  If a temporary restoration is in place too long, it can invite bacteria that can reinfect the canals.  

You also might experience new decay that causes the problem all over again. A new infection could be introduced to your tooth if a cracked crown or filling re-exposed the root or if the tooth fractures.

Are there other options if a root canal retreatment isn’t an option?

If you are not a good candidate for endodontic retreatment, other options are available.  

An alternative to retreatment would be endodontic surgery, which may allow your endodontist to find the full extent of the problem. Endodontic surgeries can remove the decay in difficult areas or infected tissue at the base of the root.

Although the last resort would be to extract the tooth, this is sometimes the only option when other treatments have been exhausted or the tooth root has been determined to have fractured.

If you previously had a root canal that is sensitive and may need retreatment, make an appointment today for a consultation to learn the options available to you.

hot or cold sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity to cold or heat can indicate the need for a root canal

First, what is a root canal? A root canal cleans out the decay in your tooth’s pulp and root.

Your teeth have an enamel layer on the outside, a second layer of dentin, and a soft inside core that extends into the root in your jawbone. The core contains the dental pulp, which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

When decay gets into the soft core, the pulp can become inflamed or infected, or even necrotic (dead). A root canal is needed to clean out the decay.

So, how do you know if you need a root canal? Are there telltale signs?

Tooth sensitivity to cold or heat can indicate the need for a root canal.

You may experience tooth sensitivity as a result of inflamed and infected tooth nerves that become hypersensitive to cold or hot food or drinks. The sensation occurs as a dull ache that can lead to sharp, intense pain. The discomfort can linger after you’ve stopped eating or drinking. 

Sensitivity to heat can often times be a telltale sign for needing a root canal.

Sore / Swollen Gums

Soreness that occurs when you eat or put pressure on the affected area can also indicate the presence of infected tooth nerves that require a root canal for relief. If you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen it may be a sign of an infected tooth. The swollen gums will be tender and a bit painful to the touch and will remain swollen. 

Benefits of getting a root canal

Root canals are among the most common dental procedures. Thanks to root canals, many patients can keep their natural teeth that they may have otherwise lost to extraction. While removing the tooth is sometimes the only option, preserving natural teeth is the most beneficial. In the hands of a skilled professional, such as Dr. Sadiq, root canals allow many patients to keep their natural teeth while relieving the pain.

Treatment can save your tooth

If you have any of the signs you need a root canal, check out our services. You could need root canal treatment, but the only way to tell is by going to the dentist and getting evaluated by an expert. Don’t put your tooth and your health at risk, schedule a dental exam!

root canal surgery

Root Canal Myths Debunked

Root canals get a bad reputation, making some people fearful about getting one. In this article, we’re going to go over some of the most common myths about root canals and give you facts that debunk them.

Myth #1: Root canal treatment is painful

Technology has come a long way since root canals were first performed. While root canals have been performed for decades and may have been painful at one time, endodontists now perform their procedures without the patient experiencing any pain.

Anesthetics are used to keep you comfortable while the damaged tissues are removed, most likely the pain you are experiencing from the toothache is probably more severe than what you’ll experience during a root canal

Myths #2: It causes illness and increases the risk of cancer

Recently, online myths have been cropping up that originated from flawed research from over 100 years ago. In fact, tooth and gum infections can actually cause health issues and are definitely linked to heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.  

Root canals remove the toxins and eliminate the infections, thus reducing risks for oral-systemic links.

Myth #3: Extraction is a better solution to tooth pain

Since keeping your natural teeth is always best, saving your teeth is always the goal. Endodontists specialize in saving teeth! While there are great replacement options available, nothing can replace a natural tooth.

Tooth replacement with a bridge or implant requires more treatment time, more expense, and may result in additional procedures to neighboring teeth and supporting tissues.  And, you always want to replace a tooth if it is extracted because missing teeth can cause many other mouth problems.

Since endodontic treatment has a high success rate, your root canal can help your teeth last a lifetime!

Call today to make your appointment.

Tooth Extraction

Will an Endodontist Extract a Tooth?

If it is in the best interest of the patient, endodontists are within their scope of practice to the extraction of teeth. A tooth that is unable to be saved by an endodontic treatment will require an extraction.

While the ideal outcome of endodontic treatment is to save the tooth, your endodontist may conclude that your tooth was unable to be saved. Here are several reasons why your endodontist may opt to remove a tooth rather than proceed with treatment:

  • Natural tooth structure destruction
  • Periodontal issues/Gum Disease
  • Root Resorption
  • Fractured roots
  • Problems with the tissue surrounding the root
  • Trauma
  • Issues with adjacent teeth

Although all dental students are trained to remove teeth, endodontists are specifically trained to treat your tooth for preservation so that extraction would be the last resort.

If a tooth needs to be extracted, the endodontist may refer to an oral surgeon.

Call today and schedule a consultation to learn your options when it comes to endodontic treatments.

Dentist discussing with patient

What’s the difference between a dentist and an endodontist?

While all endodontists are dentists, less than 3% of dentists are endodontists. Endodontists are specialists because they’ve completed an additional two or more years of training beyond dental school. Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment. For this reason, endodontists proudly refer to themselves as Specialists in Saving Teeth.

Endodontists Are Experts in Pain Management

Endodontists use specialized techniques to ensure patients are thoroughly comfortable during their treatments. They are experts in administering numbing medications, especially in patients who traditionally have problems getting and staying numb. In addition to treating you comfortably, patients will be relieved of tooth pain after their root canal procedure when the pulp infection or inflammation heals.

Endodontist vs Dentist: 

Understanding the difference between an endodontist and a dentist can help you decide who you should go to for oral care. Seeing the right person can ensure you receive the proper treatment and recover quickly.

Endodontists train to perform complex root canal treatments, such as treating teeth with complicated anatomy. Endodontists can perform several procedures, such as root canal treatments and root canal retreatments, which may save a tooth that becomes infected again after an initial root canal.

Endodontists also typically perform:

  • Apicoectomy: An apicoectomy is another option after a failed root canal. It involves removing the tip of the root to prevent future progressive infection.
  • Traumatic injury treatment: This includes procedures such as fixing cracked teeth.
  • Internal bleaching: Internal bleaching can correct discoloration stemming from root canal therapy.

Both endodontists and dentists play an essential role in your oral care. They provide complementary services that accomplish different things. 

We specialize in relieving tooth pain and performing root canal treatment. Your dentist often refers you to an endodontist but feel free to book a consultation with us today to learn more about our dental team and how we might fit your needs. Or, contact us for more information.

Woman Talking to Doctor, Endodontic Treatment

Why Would I Need an Endodontic Treatment?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in tooth pain and problems relating to the pulp of the tooth, but why would you need to schedule a visit for endodontic treatment? 

Extractions should always be the last resort, saving your natural teeth is what endodontists do best! In this article, we’ll review the reasons why you might need to see an endodontist.

When Should You See An Endodontist?

Although some people put off going to the dentist for their cleanings and routine care for as long as they can, it is very important to stay up to date with caring for your oral health. However when you are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity it becomes even more essential that you seek help before your symptoms get worse, you could end up saving your tooth!

If you are experiencing tooth pain, make an appointment to see your dentist. If your dentist finds that your pain is caused by damage to the nerve of your tooth, they will most likely refer you to an endodontist who is specially trained in identifying the cause of the pain and providing treatment.

What Types of Treatments to Endodontists Provide?

Endodontists attend training beyond dental school to be able to receive specialized education in endodontic treatments such as root canals, root canal retreatments, dental injuries, or dental implants. 

Endodontists often will work with dentists to create a treatment plan that best serves you, the patient. Since they are specialists in their field of treating issues related to the interior of the tooth, you’ll hear endodontists refer to themselves as Specialists in Saving Teeth.

How Do I Know if I Should See An Endodontist?

Although a toothache can be a sign that you need to see an endodontist, sometimes teeth with more subtle symptoms might need endodontic treatment as well.  Even if you are not in pain, if you are experiencing prolonged sensitivity to heat or chewing on a tooth, it could be a sign that you should see an endodontist.  Another sign that you might need to see an endodontist could be if you notice a small bubble on the gum around your tooth.  This bubble is called a fistula, which can be a sign of an infected tooth nerve that must be treated by an endodontist. 

Since endodontists have expertise in diagnosing the reason for tooth pain and saving teeth, if you are experiencing a toothache don’t wait to make an appointment for endodontic evaluation.

Call today to make an appointment to get to the root of your tooth pain!