When Root Canal Therapy May be Recommended
It is important to see your general dentistry office twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups and to make sure you do not need any procedures like a root canal. The cleanings will not only remove plaque that is building up on your teeth which reduces tooth decay, but this will also help prevent gum disease. Sometimes your general dentist might need to fill a tooth, and these are all great preventative measures that will save you trouble down the road.
There are also times when your general dentistry office needs to do procedure. Maybe you have a broken tooth that needs a veneer or a crown, or perhaps you need something bonded. While these procedures are more involved, they will all help you feel better about your smile and help your teeth last longer, but what about a tooth that becomes infected?
When a dentist finds an infected tooth, this is one of the times he or she will recommend this type of procedure, and there are other times for this recommendation as well.
A tooth infection
When a tooth becomes infected, it means that bacteria have made it inside the tooth's interior space, known as the pulp cavity. The pulp that lives inside this cavity is made of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. This is not only very painful, but it poses a serious threat to your overall health.
When an infection gets into the pulp of a tooth, it spreads out into the jaw and the gums. This could cause deterioration of your jaw which can weaken the foundation that the other teeth sit on and alter the appearance of your face. This infection could also spread into your facial tissue, ears, and neck.
If the infection gets into your bloodstream, it could spread to your heart and cause damage there. If the infection crosses the blood-brain barrier, it could colonize your brain and form an abscess. Your brain would respond by swelling, and this would put pressure against your skull, causing damage throughout your brain.
Chipped, broken, or deep cavity teeth
When your dentist finds that the enamel of your teeth has been broken through by either a chip, a break, or a deep cavity, they will likely recommend this type of therapy. This is because the dentist knows that the enamel of the tooth creates such a tight seal that bacteria is not able to penetrate it and enter the pulp of the tooth. When this seal has been broken, it cannot be replaced, and now the only way to keep the tooth and protect you from infection is a root canal.
Swollen gums and pain
Swollen gums are usually a sign of gum disease, which can be treated one way, but swollen gums with tooth pain are usually a sign that a root canal is needed. This is because the gums are swollen because of infection, and the pain in the tooth is an indication that the infection is coming from inside a tooth. Listening to your dentist's advice can save you a lot of trouble, and potential expense down the road, so play it safe, and you will be much better off.
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