Keeping the Pain Far Away: Preventing Root Canal Infections
At The Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group, we strive to provide total oral health care to our patients, from the finest in preventive dentistry to state-of-the-art restorative dentistry. Indeed, it is our hope that in providing the former, we can help patients to avoid that latter in the future. By preventing oral health problems from developing today, you can save yourself considerable time, expense, and discomfort in the future, as well as the necessity of having to restore your damaged teeth and gums.
Among the most common dental problems experienced by people of all ages are root canal infections. Root canal infections are often the source of major tooth pain and will eventually cause the loss of a tooth if left untreated. Fortunately, if your mouth is currently in good health, it is fairly easy to prevent root canal infections. Even if you have experienced a root canal infection or two in the past, we can help you to prevent further infections going forward. Preventing root canal infections at The Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group is just one of many outstanding services we provide as part of our preventive dentistry program.
A Root Canal Is NOT a Procedure
When people say they have “had a root canal,” what they actually mean is that they have undergone root canal therapy or root canal surgery. A root canal is not a procedure; rather, it is an anatomical structure located within each of your teeth. In fact, some of your teeth contain up to four root canals. Each root canal contains a substance called dental pulp, which is rich in vital nutrients, nerves, and blood vessels. This pulp helps to keep the tooth healthy and strong.
However, when this pulp becomes damaged, whether by infection or trauma, the result can be intense pain. Damaged dental pulp will not heal. Once it has become compromised, it must be removed; otherwise, the tooth will eventually die. The purpose of root canal therapy is to remove the dental pulp and disinfect the root canal. Once the root canal has been completely cleaned out and the dental pulp has been replaced by a filler substance, the tooth is sealed off and covered with a dental crown. The natural tooth is salvaged, and oral health is restored.
How to Prevent Root Canal Infections
Of course, it is preferable to prevent root canal infections from occurring in the first place. Here are some ways that you can help to prevent these infections:
- Invest in a custom mouth guard: Many root canal infections are the result of trauma to the tooth. If you participate in sports, you would be well-advised to invest in a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from injury. We can provide you with a mouth guard that is fitted perfectly to the contours of your mouth so that it is comfortable to wear and will provide optimal protection for your teeth. Likewise, if you grind your teeth in your sleep, this too can eventually cause damage that may result in a root canal infection; a custom night guard can protect against this type of damage.
- Brush and floss correctly at home: Do not use too much force while brushing, and use only a soft-bristled tooth brush. Brush at least twice a day and after every meal, especially after you consume sugary or acidic foods and beverages. Avoid sodas, candies, and other foods and drinks that offer no nutritional value but could damage your teeth.
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year: The American Dental Association recommends that you visit the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and thorough oral exams. Only by doing so will you be able to remove the tartar and hidden plaque that cannot be removed through brushing and flossing at home. These build-ups of bacteria can cause serious damage to your teeth over time, including root canal infections.
Learn More about Preventing Root Canal Infections
To learn more about preventing root canal infections, please contact The Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group today.