Many patients cringe when they hear they need root canal treatment. Minimally, a tooth ache is an inconvenience in your busy life or it can be an all-encompassing life event that occupies every conscious thought when the pain becomes unbearable. For the most part, root canal treatment is relatively uneventful if it is treated early before the tooth gets really infected. Ignoring tooth pain especially in the early stages is not recommended as it may eventually subside but can return with a vengeance. And when it returns, it usually becomes more intense and not usually relieved by any over the counter pain medication. Furthermore, over time, the cavity in the tooth becomes larger and larger. It could penetrate deep in the tooth rendering the tooth structurally weak and prone to fracture. A catastrophic fracture of the tooth which extends below the jaw bone renders the tooth unrestorable. The only treatment at that point is extraction and tooth loss. Root canal treatment is predictable and allows a patient to maintain their tooth. Pain is eradicated, and normal function will eventually resume. Keeping your tooth before a tooth becomes significantly broken down often is the treatment of choice. If a tooth is lost due to it’s unrestorability, tooth replacement can be costly and more invasive overall. So, don’t ignore your tooth pain. Symptoms to watch for include: spontaneous pain (not eating or drinking anything when the pain arises), exaggerated temperature sensitivity (either hot or cold that lasts for longer then 5 minutes), pain on biting down on the tooth, pain on chewing even soft foods on a tooth, swelling in the gum tissue around the tooth or any swelling in the face near the painful tooth. All of these could point to an infected tooth. Contact Dr. Vlahos in St. Catharines as soon as possible so he can fully evaluate the situation and administer timely treatment to get you comfortable again. Your tooth is worth it!