How to Prevent Root Canal Infection
Many cavities go unnoticed at first, presenting few signs or symptoms of the growing decay within teeth. If the root canal becomes infected, however, it can be a rather painful and irritating experience. Although root canal therapy is an effective treatment for tooth decay, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid the onset of cavities altogether.
Consider the following information from our South Ogden cosmetic dentistry office on root canal infection, as well as tips for keeping your teeth healthy and disease free.
The Dangers of Root Canal Infection
When most patients first notice a cavity, usually during a dental cleaning or exam, it is confined to the tooth’s crown - the upper, visible portion of a tooth. At this stage, the decay can be removed and replaced with a filling or, in other instances, an inlay or onlay. When decay is allowed to spread, it can infect the roots of a tooth, which contain the sensitive nerves and connective tissues (collectively called dental pulp). A root canal treatment often results in a greater degree of tooth reduction, requiring a permanent dental crown.
A root canal infection generally causes increased sensitivity and discomfort, but the real danger lies in the risk of potential tooth loss and the further spread of infection. Fortunately, these risks can be almost entirely avoided with the right preventative methods.
Practice Effective Hygiene
Daily hygienic care is a major factor in the overall health of your teeth and gums. With the right hygienic routine, the chances of decay and infection can be significantly reduced.
Remember to brush twice daily with toothpaste, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing at least once a day is equally important, as it will remove the accumulation of plaque at the sides of teeth, where cavities are more likely to form. To further control the bacteria in your mouth, consult your dentist on the use of mouthwash, especially if you are already prone to tooth decay or gum disease.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Certain foods and drinks are more likely to increase the chances of tooth decay. Try to limit sugary snacks and beverages, while bearing in mind that many healthy foods such as dried fruit, yogurt, and cereal also tend to have a high sugar content. Similarly, acidic foods like fruit, cheese, and carbonated drinks will hasten the corrosion of teeth.
Drinking water with meals will help wash away lingering acids, sugars, and the bacteria that feed on them. Diets that are high in fiber and crunchy foods, like celery, can also act as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing away excess food particles.
Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned
Even with proper hygiene, it’s important to have routine dental cleanings. This will eliminate any remaining plaque and tartar, and help prevent the beginnings of future tooth or gum disease. More importantly, X-rays will identify any cavities or signs of decay, allowing early treatment before the root canal can become infected.
If minor restorative dentistry is required, such as a filling, the majority of a tooth can be left intact, including the roots and dental pulp. Still, these fillings may corrode or shrink over time, allowing room for new decay to form within a tooth. Checking and occasionally replacing older dental work is a great way to prevent new cavities from forming.
Keep Your Teeth Free of Decay
We are eager to assist you with the ongoing care of your teeth. Whether you wish to schedule a routine cleaning or require restorative treatment for an existing problem, your health is our top priority. Contact us to set up an appointment or consultation today.