Root canals are a great way to treat teeth that have become infected however, it is always best to avoid them altogether. Our Winnipeg dental team believes that prevention is the best line of defense in dental care, which is why they are discussing ways you can avoid root canal procedures with oral hygiene.
What Are Root Canals?
At the middle of every tooth, is a soft area called 'the pulp' which consists of the connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. This is the most important element of a tooth, and it's protected by the tooth’s enamel and dentin.
A tooth’s pulp can be damaged by infections which, can ultimately kill the tooth.
In a root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the pulp of a damaged tooth, clean out any residual tissues, and seal or cap it with a dental crown or filling. This process prevents the need for a tooth extraction.
A root canal can lessen the pain associated with the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and lets you continue to eat, smile, and speak properly. Your chances of requiring more significant or long-term tooth repair will also be reduced.
Why would I need a root canal procedure?
The pulp of a tooth can get infected for many reasons and might need to be removed. Below we have listed some of the main reasons why patients come to us requiring 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
Even though your dentist will do everything they can to make sure you don't feel pain after a root canal (or during the procedure), our team hasn't met anyone who enjoys 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 two times a day, or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how tired or busy you might be, don't forget this step.
- Visit your dentist every six months for preventive care, 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 can easily make your teeth 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 your teeth and allow bacteria to access and infect the pulp.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks; they cause wear on your enamel and expose your teeth to sugar.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.
Going to your dentist's office for regular checkups and hygiene cleanings is the key to maintaining your oral health. Your dentist can also check for early indications of dental issues before they develop into larger problems. Any dental treatments required can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.