A root canal is a thin area inside of the tooth that holds the nerve. Each tooth has at least one root canal but can have as many as four.
When the pulp inside a "root canal" gets infected, whether from a deep cavity, an injury, or a fracture that lets bacteria into the tooth, pressure inside the tooth increases due to blood flow and cell activity. This pressure cannot escape on its own and causes pain.
The tooth will not heal itself. If left untreated, the infection in the tooth will spread, eventually involving the bone. When the bone becomes infected it begins to break down and the tooth may fall out.
Generally, your child should see the dentist approximately 6 months after the first tooth erupts, or comes through the gums, and before the child's first birthday.
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Here, we answer some commonly asked questions, address oral care needs for children and adults, and provide information about some of the most common dental procedures.