Even though root canals can be useful for treating infected teeth, we still recommend avoiding the need for one to begin with. Today, our Orangeville dentists discuss the ways preventive oral hygiene can help prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
What Are Root Canals?
In the middle of each tooth, there is a soft area called the pulp that contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. This is the most important part of a tooth, which is why the tooth’s enamel and dentin are there to protect it.
The pulp of a tooth can get damaged as the result of an infection and can ultimately cause the death of the tooth.
During a root canal procedure, we remove the pulp of a damaged tooth, clean out any residual tissues and seal or cap it with a filling or dental crown. This prevents the need for an extraction.
A root canal can help relieve the pain associated with the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and lets you keep eating, smiling, and talking normally. Your chances of needing more significant or long-term tooth repair will also be reduced.
Why Would I Require a Root Canal?
There are many reasons why the pulp of a tooth can get infected and might need to be removed. Below are a few main reasons why patients come to us requiring Root Canal Therapy:
- Injury to a tooth
- Serious decay
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Faulty crown
How to Prevent the Need For a Root Canal Procedure?
Though your dentist will make every effort to ensure you don't feel pain after a root canal (or during 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 can prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, or as your dentist prescribes. No matter what, don't skip this step.
- Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as prescribed by your dentist.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.
- 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.
- Avoid particularly crunchy or hard foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These can easily cause teeth to crack and leave your tooth vulnerable to bacteria, which can enter the root system and cause damage from within.
It's essential for maintaining your oral health to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and hygiene cleanings. Your dentist can also look for early signs of dental problems before they become larger issues. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.