While root canals used to be feared, they’ve now become so standard that over 15 million of them are performed every year. Shirley H. Bien, DMD, and the team at Greenhills Dental Care in Fremont, California, provide expert root canal care to restore function and eliminate pain caused by damaged nerves inside your tooth. Call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment today and learn more about whether a root canal is right for you.

Root Canals Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal has two distinct definitions. On the one hand, root canal refers to the inner part of a tooth that contains soft tissue. But root canal also refers to a treatment designed to remove infections and eliminate pain from that soft tissue.

Each tooth contains nerves and blood vessels. As you get older, the nerves in your teeth modify their function to exclusively monitor your reaction to hot and cold temperatures. Damaging the nerve can have severe consequences such as swelling, infection, and debilitating toothache.

Root canal treatment is designed to both eliminate damaged pulp — the part in the center of the tooth that contains cells and living tissue — and permanently seal the tooth with a crown and filling material.

Though root canal treatment has a scary reputation of pain extreme, it’s performed over 41,000 times a day in the United States, and Dr. Bien and her team are committed to ensuring your comfort and happiness throughout the procedure.

What causes root canal pain?

Root canal pain comes about for three main reasons — decay, disease, and damage:


You might start experiencing sharp root canal pain if your tooth or nerve is increasingly decaying.


Disease occurs when the pulp in your tooth is infected. This type of infection can lead to severe tooth decay and debilitating pain. To fix this, Dr. Bien recommends root canal treatment to repair the damage before the decay spreads.


Decay and root canal pain can also come about because of a chipped or cracked tooth. A damaged tooth makes the tissue and cells more susceptible to complications.

When should I consider root canal treatment?

Dr. Bien and the team at Greenhills Dental Care recommends that you book an appoint for a root canal consultation if you:

  • Have sharp pain while eating
  • Notice that your tooth has darkened
  • Notice small bumps on your gums
  • Feel prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Notice that your gum has become swollen or tender 

Get in touch with the team at Greenhills Dental Care if you identify any of the above symptoms.

What foods should I avoid after root canal treatment?

After your root canal treatment, you should avoid alcohol and spicy, hot, hard, crunchy, and chewy foods. Avoiding these items allows your crown and filling to heal correctly. Taking this initial step helps ensure the treatment’s long-lasting results.

Don’t put up with yet another toothache; call Greenhills Dental Care or schedule an appointment online today.

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