Inflammation or Infection?
Tooth pain is associated with infection or inflammation of the pulp (nerve). This can be caused by the breakdown of a filling or crown, a deep cavity, trauma, gum disease, crack or chip in the tooth of extreme wear.
Symptoms may include pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discoloration and swelling and soreness of the gums surrounding the roots. To save the tooth, root canal treatment is needed when the pulp becomes severely inflamed or infected.
To improve the chances of success, root canal treatment should be started as soon as possible. All root canals in the affected tooth must be treated. If the pulp of the tooth is not treated quickly, severe pain and abscesses (infection at the end of the roots) can occur.
If an abscess is left untreated, infection can damage the bone surrounding the root. If the tooth does not have endodontic treatment, it will have to be removed.