The term “root canal” has taken on epic proportions. Like many people, you may believe that root canal therapy is uncomfortable. In reality, thanks to modern techniques and anesthetics, the treatment involves minimal discomfort. However, the pain of the actual infection can be quite intense. To avoid this discomfort, as well as unnecessary dental work, it is important to take good care of your teeth. General dentistry, including exams and cleanings, can prevent root canal infection. In addition, you should have any existing damage treated as soon as possible. Early action can keep dental issues from getting worse and affecting your tooth roots. To learn more about how you can prevent a root canal infection, contact our Memphis practice today.
Your tooth is filled with a soft pulp. This material harbors blood vessels and nerves, which extend from the middle of your tooth down through your root canals. When you have dental decay that spreads to the pulp, it will quickly travel along the nerves, causing infection and inflammation in the canals. It may also affect your nearby gum tissue and even your jawbone.
A toothache is the most common indication that you may have a root canal infection. The sensations can vary. You may suffer almost constant pain, or the discomfort may come and go. In many cases, your toothache may worsen in response to heat, cold, and/or pressure. Pain may radiate across your jaw or even your neck. Gum abscesses are another common symptom. These small, pus-filled pockets on your gums can be quite tender, and they can also cause chronic bad breath. Finally, in some cases, a root canal infection can lead to internal discoloration of your tooth.
Regular dental visits are one of the best ways to prevent root canal infection. For good oral health, you should schedule biannual appointments, though, in some cases, you may require more frequent care. These appointments will allow your hygienist to remove the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that can lead to dental decay. Without these cleanings, the microbes can interact with starches to form acids. Eventually, the acids could erode your tooth, giving bacteria access to the soft pulp. At each visit, Dr. Messer will also conduct an exam. With x-rays and manual scans, he can usually find the earliest signs of decay, treating these problems before they affect your root canals.
Along with care in our office, you should also protect your smile at home. Brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss at least once. You should clean your teeth after meals, but you should wait about half an hour so that you do not rub bits of food into your dental enamel. You should also use antibacterial mouthwash, and you should avoid having too much sugar and starch in your diet.
Though decay is the most common reason for root canal infection, structural damage can also put your tooth roots at risk. A crack in your tooth causes inflammation, and it will create a space for bacteria to enter deeper into your tooth. Fortunately, timely care will restore your dental function, and it can prevent infection. Dr. Messer offers a variety of restorative treatments, although crowns are typically the most common option for a cracked tooth.
To learn more about root canal infections and to find out how you can protect your smile, contact our office today.
I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.