Root canal therapy has a certain reputation in our society, and most people believe the treatment will be highly unpleasant. Actually, root canal treatment involves minimal discomfort, especially when performed by an experienced practitioner. Of course, it is always best to avoid dental infection in the first place, even if the treatment is less invasive than you might think. Regular exams and cleanings are the foundation of our general dentistry care. They are also the most effective way to prevent root canal infections. At Chrisman and Wyse General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide routine care, and we can offer additional treatments to help you avoid root canal infection. To schedule an appointment, contact our Bloomington practice today.
Root Canal Infections and Their Causes
Root canal infections occur when bacteria spread to the soft pulp inside your teeth. These infections can cause significant discomfort. They can also compromise your dental function. Nerves run from the inner pulp to your gums. Microbes can travel down the nerves to your soft tissues, resulting in a painful gum abscess. If you do not seek timely treatment, the bacteria can also spread to your other teeth and surrounding gum tissue. Dental trauma, such as a broken or cracked tooth, can also inflame the soft pulp and lead to an infected root.
Root canal therapy is the most common solution for dental infections. During this procedure, your dentist or endodontist will clean bacteria and damaged material from your tooth. Then he or she will fill your tooth and root canals with gutta percha, a soft, biocompatible rubber compound. Finally, you will receive a custom-designed dental crown, typically made from tooth-colored materials. Your tooth and nearby gums will be numb during the treatment, so you should feel only a mild sense of pressure.
Dental Hygiene: The Most Effective Way to Prevent Root Canal Infections
To prevent root canal infections and other dental concerns, you must make oral care a top priority. First, brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially after meals. Use an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Although it is important to clean your teeth after eating, you should wait about half an hour before you do so. If you brush immediately after eating, you will rub food and acid into your dental enamel. While you are waiting, rinse out your mouth with water. In addition, you should floss at least once a day, ideally before bed, and you should rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
In addition to care at home, professional dental treatment is also essential. Only a dentist or hygienist can remove the stubborn plaque and tartar that cause decay and infection. Additionally, during regular exams, your dentist can identify cavities and damage in the early stages. Timely treatment can prevent decay from spreading to your dental roots. For optimal oral health, you should visit the dentist once every six months. If you have a history of cavities or gum disease, you may benefit from more frequent visits.
Other Ways to Prevent Infection
Though routine care is the best way to prevent root canal infections, there are several other things you can do to protect your smile. Proper precautions include:
- Eating a healthy diet, low in sugars and acids
- Seeking timely treatment for chipped and/or cracked teeth
- Wearing a mouthguard if you grind your teeth in your sleep
Contact Us Today and Protect Your Dental Health
Along with regular check-ups and cleanings, we provide ongoing guidance to help you protect your beautiful smile. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about routine dental care.