Teeth that become cracked, damaged, inflamed, or infected will require root canal treatment. A root canal preserves a tooth by removing the soft tissue at the tooth’s center. Maintaining oral health is facilitated by the interaction between natural teeth and jawbone.
The best root canal is the one you never have to get. There are situations in which root canal therapy is unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood. We specialize in root canals in Houston dental care, but we do not object if you can avoid needing one. We have compiled a list of five ways you can avoid the need for a root canal.
What are Infections of the Root Canal?
Teeth are composed of layers and are not solid all the way through. Enamel is the exterior, brittle layer of a tooth. The innermost layer is termed dentin and is a porous, sponge-like tissue. Each tooth contains a collection of pulp-like spongy tissue at its center. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that enable the tooth to develop. It comprises cells known as odontoblasts, which maintain the tooth health.
A root canal is a procedure that removes the infected or otherwise compromised dentin of a tooth. Root canals can save a tooth and are regarded as secure. Root canal infections are uncommon, but there is a small possibility that a tooth will become infected after a root canal has been performed.
What Symptoms Are Associated with an Infected Root Canal?
After a root canal treatment, it is normal to experience a brief period of discomfort. After the procedure, you may experience discomfort and sensitivity for several days. You may experience moderate discomfort for up to a week after surgery.
Consult your dentist if you continue to experience severe pain for more than a week after the procedure, particularly if the pain is as uncomfortable as it was before the procedure was performed.
A tooth that has been pain-free for some time can sometimes develop a delayed root canal infection. A tooth treated with a root canal may not recover completely and become infected or painful months or even years after treatment.
Indications of the Need for a Return Visit to the Dentist
Here are some common symptoms of a root canal infection that indicate you need to schedule another appointment with your dentist:
- pain or discomfort ranging from mild tenderness to unbearable pain, especially when you apply pressure from eating or pressing on the tooth or expose the tooth to extreme temperatures;
- pus discharge that is greenish, yellow, or otherwise discolored;
- red, warm, swollen tissue near the tooth, especially the gums under or around the tooth — in some cases, swelling can affect your face and neck as well;
- tenderness or discomfort in swollen tissue, especially when you apply pressure to it.
- bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Can an Infection Extend to the Gums and Teeth?
Like any other infection, a root canal infection can extend to surrounding tissue in the mouth, including other teeth, gums, and tissue in the cheeks and face. The infection will persist until treated; the longer you delay, the further it will spread.
The extent of the infection’s spreading depends on how quickly it is treated after symptoms appear. If you seek treatment within a few hours or days of the onset of a tooth infection, the infection’s spread to adjacent teeth and tissues can be limited.
Untreated root canal infection can extend beyond the tooth’s structure. In some cases, the infection can travel to the jaw, the face, and the bloodstream.
What Causes Infections of the Root Canal?
After a root canal, there are numerous reasons why a tooth may become infected.
- The shape of your root canals can be extremely complex, and areas of infection may not be detected during the initial procedure.
- Your tooth may have narrow or curved canals that were not thoroughly cleaned and disinfected during the root canal procedure.
- Your tooth may also have accessory canals that harbor bacteria that can reinfect a tooth. If the placement of the crown or permanent restoration is delayed following treatment, it could enable bacteria to re-enter the tooth.
- Your tooth may develop a new cavity or become fractured or injured following root canal therapy, resulting in a new root canal infection.
Five Methods to Avoid a Root Canal Procedure
These five tips can help you avoid having a root canal procedure performed on you.
- Dental Hygiene at Home
It is the cornerstone of dental health. The healthiest teeth, gums, and jaws are maintained through twice-daily brushing and flossing. Plaque removal inhibits the acids that erode tooth enamel and reduces your risk of developing gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. Use fluoride-containing products to strengthen tooth enamel, and consult with H-Town Dental Care about methods to improve your at-home oral hygiene routine.
- Routine Examinations
Even though home care is essential for dental health, everyone fights a losing battle against plaque, which solidifies into tartar and is detrimental to dental health. Regular dental office cleanings remove plaque and tartar that even the finest at-home care cannot remove. In addition, dental checkups detect conditions that could cause tooth harm in the future.
- Determine your Diet
Sticky and hard foods, such as mints and other candies, provide more than just sugar to nourish the acids that erode your teeth. During biting, they can cause harm. Consider popcorn and cherry pie as secure options. Potentially abrasive kernels and pits could be waiting for a sudden hard bite. Do not utilize your teeth as tools, and refrain from chewing ice. As a result of avoiding tooth damage, root canals can be avoided.
- Oral Appliances
Although mouth guards are a no-brainer for athletes in contact sports, they could prevent dental problems in any activity with an increased risk of an accident. Do you clench your teeth overnight? Additionally, a mouth protector can prevent tooth erosion.
- Avoid Oral Dryness
You do not want to lose the benefits of saliva production, as it dilutes acids and plaque in your mouth. The occasional occurrence of a dry mouth is not a problem. If you have a persistent dry mouth, consume sugar-free gum or use oral rinses formulated to keep the mouth moist.
Visit one of our Houston locations to learn more about your oral health. Make an appointment today by calling or scheduling online with the most convenient office.