Root canals could be a good way to help treat infected teeth, however, our dentists recommend avoiding them altogether. In this blog, our Parksville dentists discuss how oral hygiene routines could help you avoid needing a root canal.
What is a root canal?
In the middle of your teeth is the pulp. It is a soft area that holds the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues, making it the most important part of the tooth. The pulp is protected by the dentin and enamel.
A tooth’s pulp can get damaged because of an infection, causing the death of the tooth.
In a root canal procedure, your dentist removes the pulp of a damaged tooth, cleans out any residual tissues, and seals or caps it with a filling or dental crown. This can prevent the need for an extraction.
A root canal may alleviate the pain associated with the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and should allow you to continue eating, smiling, and talking normally. This could also reduce your chances of needing more significant or long-term tooth repair.
Why do people need root canals?
The pulp of a tooth can become infected for many reasons and may need to be removed. Following are some of the main reasons why patients come to us needing Root Canal Therapy:
- Injury to a tooth
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
How you can prevent root canals
Though your dentist will make every effort to make sure you don't feel pain after a root canal (or throughout the procedure), we haven't met anyone who loves getting them. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you might be able to prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how tired or busy you may be, don't forget this step.
- Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as prescribed by your dentist.
- Avoid particularly crunchy or hard foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These could easily cause teeth to crack and leave your tooth vulnerable to bacteria, which can enter the root system and cause damage from within.
- Do not chew ice! This can fracture or crack teeth and allow bacteria to access and infect the pulp.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks; they cause wear on your enamel and expose the teeth to sugar.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.
Visiting your dentist for regular hygiene cleanings and checkups is critical to maintaining your oral health. The dentist can also check for early indications of dental issues before they develop into larger ones. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.