Root canals could be an efficient treatment method for infected teeth, although we always prefer to take a preventative approach to avoid the need for root canals altogether. In this blog, our dentists in Winnipeg share how you can help prevent root canals with dental hygiene.
What are root canals?
At the middle of every tooth, is a soft part known as the pulp, it holds the blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves. This is the most important part of a tooth, which is why the tooth’s enamel and dentin work hard to help protect it.
Infections can damage the tooth's pulp which could eventually cause the death of the tooth.
During a root canal procedure, we remove the pulp in 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 pain that is associated with the inflamed or infected pulp, allowing you to continue eating, smiling, and talking normally. It also lowers your chances of requiring more significant or long-term tooth repair in the future.
Why would I require a root canal?
The pulp of a tooth can get infected for a wide variety of reasons and might have to be removed. Below are some of the main reasons why patients come to our office requiring root canal therapy:
- Injury to a tooth
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
How to avoid needing a root canal
Your dentist will do the best they can to make sure you don't feel pain during or following a root canal but, 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 help prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
- Practice good oral hygiene techniques by brushing and flossing two times a day, or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how tired or busy you get, don't forget this step.
- Go to your dentist's office for preventive care approximately every six months, 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 lead to cracked teeth and leave your tooth vulnerable to bacteria, which could enter the root system and cause damage from within.
- Don't chew ice! This can fracture or crack teeth and allow bacteria to access and infect the pulp.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks; they can cause wear on your enamel and expose the teeth to sugar.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.
Visiting your dentist for regular checkups and hygiene cleanings is essential in maintaining your oral health. The dentist can also check for early indications of dental issues before they develop into larger problems. Any required dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these issues from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.