A root canal is a procedure that is used to treat a tooth that is so badly damaged that there is no other dental procedure that can be used to restore it.
Root canals are one of the most common dental problems that dental professionals have to deal with today. Cavities are the most common cause of root canals, and they can occur for several reasons.
The most common is a sugar-laden diet. When you eat sugar too often without taking care of your teeth the bacteria in the mouth feat on the layers of teeth one by one until they get to the pulp, which is the inner-most part of the tooth.
Once this is damaged a root canal has to be performed in order to save the tooth. The other causes of root canals include cracks on the tooth, trauma to the tooth or repeated dental procedures that wear away the enamel leaving the inner part of the tooth exposed.
What are the benefits of root canals?
There are two primary benefits of having a root canal done. The first is that you are able to save the tooth. Without this treatment the tooth would eventually rot and fall off leaving a gap. Gaps like these are expensive to fill and if left unfilled they have many negative effects. They affect the surrounding teeth causing them to lea in the gap, they affect speech, eating and even the overall shape of the face.
The other benefit of having a timely root canal is that it stops infection from developing and spreading. Damage to the pulp leaves nerve endings exposed and because there are bacteria in the pocket it can multiply and lead to a bacterial infection that starts in the gum and eventually can spread to the jaw. Left untreated these infections have been known to spread to the brain and can even cause death.
There is a third little considered benefit and that is fresh breath. When you have cavities bacteria are feeding on them all the time, and the by-product of their frenzied feeding is bad breath. It doesn’t matter if you brush your teeth 3 times a day as prescribed, rinse with mouthwash and even floss. Soon after, your breath will turn sour and this can even develop into halitosis which is a much more serious dental condition.
It is very important to have regular dental checkups so that your dentist can check whether or not you have cavities. If they are still in the early stages of development, our doctor may suggest alternative forms of treatment but if they are in the advanced stages he will schedule you for a root canal right away.
Call us today at (801) 683-2179 to schedule your appointment.