Deep cavities, cracked teeth, trauma to teeth, or a leaking restoration can cause the soft tissue inside the canal of your tooth, called dental pulp, to become infected or abscessed. This can lead to a “pimple on your gums”, facial swelling, bad taste in your mouth or great discomfort and pain. You may also experience severe sensitivity to cold and hot food and liquids accompanied by spontaneous throbbing or pain when biting. This condition can only be treated with what is called a root canal. A root canal is a procedure for saving a tooth that is damaged and causing pain. After removing the diseased tissue, the doctor seals the canals. Dental crowns are highly recommended to cap the teeth treated with root canals as they can become brittle and prone to fracture. Good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are still necessary to maintain and assess the long term integrity of the tooth.