root canal

Preventing The Need For A Root Canal: Your 2024 Guide

March 7, 2024

Nobody ever looks forward to or wants to get a root canal. Luckily, these days, we have modern dental techniques to keep the pain manageable during a root canal treatment. Even so, there are steps you can take to prevent getting root canals altogether. Good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to avoid a root canal. Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and take care of your teeth by brushing twice daily and flossing every day.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canals, also called endodontic therapy, are a great way to treat and save an infected tooth from being extracted. At the center of your tooth, there is an essential area called the pulp, which is soft and holds the connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. If the pulp becomes damaged, it can lead to infection and eventually cause the need for the tooth to be extracted.

  • Benefits of Root Canal Treatment: A root canal eliminates tooth infections that could cause more serious problems, such as infections that spread to other teeth or damage to the jawbone.
  • Risks or Complications of a Root Canal: Root canals may fail because they are not the right solution for tooth infections. If your tooth happens to be extremely damaged, a root canal may not be able to resolve your issues. If you have a failed root canal, your dental provider will likely recommend re-treating the tooth with another root canal or extracting the infected tooth and replacing it with an implant or bridge.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

A faulty dental crown, a cracked or chipped tooth, an injured tooth, or a severely decayed tooth are usually the leading contenders for a root canal. Getting a root canal treatment will clear out the infection of an infected tooth. You might have infected teeth and not have symptoms! When you do have symptoms, they can include:

  • Pain and discomfort in your tooth that doesn’t go away. Pain that goes deep into your tooth and spreads into your jaw, face, or other teeth might mean you have an infection.
  • Pain is caused by pressure when eating or touching the tooth.
  • Swollen, tender gums can be a sign of an infected tooth.
  • Pimples or boils on your gums that can ooze pus.
  • Jaw swelling caused by pus that cannot be drained. 
  • A discolored tooth that turns darker because of lack of blood getting to your tooth.
  • Loose teeth are caused by infected tooth pulp softening the bones that support your teeth.

Root Canal Prevention

If you have had a root canal in the past, you likely want to avoid treatment in the future. Or, if you don’t want a root canal in the first place, you’ll want to do what you can to prevent needing one. The best way to avoid needing a root canal treatment is to take the proper measures to take care of your teeth properly.

Regular Brushing and Flossing

Root canals can often occur due to untreated cavities. When we eat, the natural bacteria in our mouths mix and produce mild acid. This acid eats away at our teeth and leaves tiny holes in our enamel that can become bigger cavities. By regularly brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, you can prevent cavities, gum disease, and gingivitis.

Use Products With Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen teeth’s enamel and is an important part of oral care. It is often found in drinking water but also in certain toothpastes and mouthwashes. When picking out a toothpaste or mouthwash, choose one with fluoride.

Avoid Certain Foods

Sugary and acidic foods can erode teeth’s enamel and lead to cavities. Rinsing your mouth after eating and opting for healthier options is a great way to avoid cavities. Avoiding hard or sticky foods can also be helpful, especially if you already have weakened teeth from previous cavities or dental treatments.

Take Care of Any Cavities

If you do end up getting a cavity, it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible. Cavities can be repaired with fillings to prevent them from going deeper and causing further damage to your teeth.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly To Avoid Root Canals

One huge and important way to prevent you from needing a root canal is visiting a dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning and checkups. If you need a root canal, you’ll want to find the right dentist to help you feel comfortable and provide great results. At the office of Dr. Carrie Muzny, DDS, we provide professional dental care to help you create a healthy smile and boost your self-confidence. We offer virtual consults for those with busy schedules or take appointments at our office in The Woodlands. We help clients from Benders Landing, Woodforest, Spring, North Houston, and the Conroe/Montgomery area. Reach out to us today to schedule an online consultation or visit our office.

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