Causes of Root Canals – Saratoga, CA
Why Root Canal Therapy May Be Necessary
Root canal therapy is a procedure wherein an endodontist near Cupertino gently cleans out the infected area in a tooth’s interior. This treatment can save a damaged tooth from extraction, relieve your pain, and get you on the road to feeling like yourself again. But why exactly is this therapy sometimes necessary, and how can you know whether you could benefit from it? Is there anything you can do to prevent the need for root canal therapy? Learn the answers to these important questions below.
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The Role of Tooth Pulp
The tooth’s pulp is a soft substance that is protected by the tooth’s hard outer layers—the dentin and the enamel. The pulp contains living blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. It serves several important purposes. For example, it can produce reparative dentin to strengthen a tooth after it suffers a trauma. It also keeps blood flowing to the tooth, which keeps it from becoming dry, brittle, and undernourished.
As valuable as the pulp is, however, it can lead to serious problems when it becomes infected due to trauma or decay. Inflammation in the area can lead to severe pain because the tooth’s pulp is responsible for sending sensory information to your brain. That’s why problems in the root canal can lead to symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to hot and cold as well as pain in response to pressure.
In addition to pain in a tooth, you may notice symptoms in your gums, such as swelling and redness, that point to the need for root canal therapy. This occurs when the infection in the tooth spreads beyond the tooth itself. It may even form a pocket of pus, resulting in a pimple-like bump on the gums. This condition, known as an abscess, is something you should take very seriously. Infection in a tooth’s interior and dental abscesses have been connected to serious systemic health consequences. If fever or pain in other areas of your face accompanies other symptoms of trouble with your root canal near Cupertino, you should schedule an emergency appointment with an endodontist.
Preventing the Need for Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy becomes necessary when bacteria is given an opportunity to sneak into a tooth’s innermost region. Reasonably, then, the best way to prevent the need for root canal therapy is by protecting your tooth’s inner layers. To accomplish this, you should:
- Practice excellent oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing can prevent plaque and tartar from destroying your teeth’s enamel and dentin.
- Visit your general dentist for regular checkups. If your dentist notices any blossoming oral health problems, they may be able to stop them before they lead to the need for root canal therapy.
- Protect your teeth from injury. Playing sports without a mouthguard, biting on hard objects (like ice or popcorn kernels), and using your teeth to open packages all put your smile at risk.
- Take care of your gums. If your gums recede due to disease or genetics, your tooth roots may become exposed. The roots do not have enamel to protect them, so they may be more susceptible to decay and sensitivity than the top portion of your teeth.
If, despite your best efforts to protect your teeth, you believe you need root canal therapy, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will evaluate the situation, provide treatment, and get you on the road to recovery ASAP.