While there are other posts that get into the causes and reasons for needing a root canal treatment, here I want to address a common misperception. When someone is in excruciating pain, they understand the need for a root canal treatment. But, if they have just a little discomfort or no pain at all, they think they can put it off. Not true!
Whatever the cause, you need a root canal because there’s an infection in your tooth. Infections are bad. You may not even notice it, but your body does. It’s expending energy trying to deal with that infection.
Eventually, one of two things will happen (or both). One, it will stay in your tooth and cause excruciating pain. The bacteria just keep multiplying but there’s no where to go. The pressure just keeps building until you get it treated.
Second, it goes outside the tooth. Initially, it will erode the bone. That’s typically what your dentist sees that prompts them to evaluate the need for a root canal treatment. You may also have pain and swelling in the gums. It could also get into your bloodstream and become a much more serious issue than a painful tooth.
Either way, you want to take care of that infection. And, since your nerve and blood vessels are either dead or dying, they can’t deliver an oral antibiotic inside the tooth. That leaves root canal treatment as your best way to get rid of the infection (the alternative is extracting the tooth).
But, you say, I took an antibiotic and I feel better. That’s because it took care of the infection outside your tooth. The cause of the infection remains which means it will be back.