In a perfect world you would never have to worry about getting a root canal. Your teeth would never become inflamed or infected and you could live your life without ever having to hear those two words. But we don’t live in that perfect world, and all human beings have the potential to develop dental problems that can only be remedied by a root canal.
It’s a procedure that’s often misunderstood. A lot of people don’t even know WHAT a root canal is! We at Dental Specialty Associates would be happy to answer that question, and to also offer you tips on how you can keep your teeth in such good shape that they won’t need a root canal. Read on and find out how you can keep the roots of your teeth in tip-top shape.
Related: 4 Root Canal Myths Debunked
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is a form of endodontic treatment. It’s needed when an injury or a large cavity damages the root of your tooth and it becomes inflamed or infected. It’s a process that usually requires a couple of visits to complete.
During a root canal your endodontist will remove your tooth’s inflamed or infected pulp. The pulp in your tooth contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that link your tooth to the tissues that surround your root. They will remove the pulp and clean the inside of your root canal, reshaping it and filling the space back up with a natural latex called gutta percha. They will then seal it shut so the filling stays in place. You will then return after it’s healed to have a crown or other restoration device placed on your tooth to protect it. At this point, your treated tooth should function as well as any other tooth in your mouth.
How Can I Prevent It?
Root canals usually happen as a result of tooth decay. The decay becomes deep and widespread enough that it reaches the interior of the tooth and infects the pulp. The decay could also spread to the crown of the tooth as well, and when that happens bacteria invades the inside of your tooth and creates an abscess. An untreated abscess can be extremely painful.
The best way to prevent a root canal is to fight tooth decay. The first step in the process is having a daily dental hygiene routine. You should brush and floss at least twice a day. Rinse when needed and make sure that you stay well-hydrated. Hydration leads to the production of more saliva, which can naturally rinse out your mouth and clear it of bacteria.
Getting a dental cleaning done every six months is also a great way of battling tooth decay. Getting a dentist to give your teeth a closer look gives them a chance to spot signs of trouble before it develops into something serious. Eating and drinking healthy can also work wonders when it comes to dealing with decay. Stay away from foods and drinks that are heavy in sugars and acids, as they can eat away at the enamel of your teeth and make them more vulnerable.
Another thing to watch out for trauma. Traumatized teeth can be at risk of developing infections that would need a root canal to resolve. Avoid this by wearing a mouth guard playing sports and driving carefully. Even a minor car accident could rattle your teeth and cause long-lasting damage! You should also have your dentist look at your bite. If it’s uneven, it could be putting too much pressure on certain teeth and wearing them down.