When a dentist says that you will need a root canal, it means you need to have the nerves of a tooth removed. A root canal is necessary when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected with bacteria. After several days of not brushing and removing plaque from the teeth, plaque develops and hardens along the gumline and in between the teeth. Plaque that turns into tartar, releases a harmful acid caused by the breakdown of sugars found in common foods and drinks like milk or sugary snacks. The acid weakens the enamel and a cavity will begin to form. Some of the early signs of tooth decay are the buildup of plaque which causes bad bread and the signs of cavities. A cavity is an opening caused by plaque and when left untreated, the cavity will reach the center of the tooth. Once at the center, the damage is irreversible. If the tooth can be saved, it will be hollowed out and then a cap (a crown) will be placed to cover the gap, preventing food and bacteria from entering and causing further damage. If a tooth cannot be saved, meaning that the root of the tooth is badly infected, the only option left is to take the tooth out. A tooth gap may be treated with a dental implant or a dental bridge, but the procedure will highly depend on the health of the surrounding teeth and gum area.
The best way to prevent a cavity is to maintain a good brushing and flossing habits. At home, preventative actions can help stop the spread of plaque which may prevent tooth decay and gum disease. When brushing it is crucial to brush for at least two minutes ensuring that every portion of the tooth has been scrubbed including the in-between spaces. Gum disease occurs more frequently when food is allowed to sit and ferment between the gaps in the teeth. To avoid gum disease known as gingivitis (a milder form of periodontitis) it is advised to floss at least once a day. Maintaining these daily cleaning habits will help prevent tooth loss and gum loss which may only be repaired with plastic surgery. Additionally, your oral health highly depends on professional cleaning at the dentist office. Unfortunately, we do not always get all the food particles that get stuck in the molars. Molars are more prone to infection and tooth decay due to the lack of attention that they receive on a regular basis. To prevent the plaque, build up a dental hygienist will ensure that all molars and hard to reach places are regularly maintained.
A dental hygienist and your dentist will examine each tooth at every appointment, looking out for cavities and signs of wear and tear. A dentist or dental hygienist can spot an issue before it becomes a bigger problem and may provide the appropriate next steps to take care of the problem. If you are located near our offices in Downey, CA, we invite you to come in for a free examination and digital x-rays. Our examination and x-rays can help spot a cavity early on and prevent the issue from getting out of hand. Our examination can spot any signs of oral cancer or early signs of bone loss. To schedule a dental visit, you may contact The Downey Dentist dental at 562-746-0350.
Upon visiting our office our dentist will teach you all that you need to know about the proper way to prevent the build-up of plaque. The following section will discuss in more detail the causes of a root canal and the ways in which you can prevent the spread of bacteria. To learn more about oral health or about a specific concern, you are advised to consult with your general dentist.
The Purpose of a Root Canal
A root canal treatment aims to save the tooth by removing the infected pulp otherwise known as the center of the tooth. Removing the pulp may be the only option to save the tooth and prevent the bacterial, disease from spreading to the soft tissue around the tooth and other areas of your mouth. The pulp contains the nerves that allow the tooth to feel the difference between hot or cold. After a root canal, the tooth will lose its heat sensation, but it will not affect the essential operations of the tooth.
Individuals who are experiencing dental pain when they bite down on food or when they drink iced or hot beverages should consider visiting a dentist. More often than not, dental pain is caused by cavities that are left unattended. A cavity that is untreated will eventually reach the pulp of the tooth. Once bacteria reach the center of the tooth, it will cause irritation or severe pains. When experiencing dental pains, it is necessary to visit a dentist for a checkup. A dentist will take the correct measures to take care of the pain caused by the bacterial infection.
To prevent a root canal, it is crucial to keep up with daily dental cleaning habits. Brushing and flossing are everyday tasks that can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities. When we take these preventative measures, we allow our gums and dentures to remain healthy and disease free.
A tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment will be sealed with a temporary seal until the patient decides on a permanent option. Most root canal procedures result in the placement of a crown. A crown will be placed around the tooth to prevent any food particles or bacteria to build up in the hollowed-out section of the tooth. Furthermore, a crown will offer the same functions as a tooth both when chewing and when smiling.
The Causes of Cavities and Tooth Decay
Tooth decay occurs when plaque and tartar release acids that attack the enamel of the tooth and the surrounding gum. Plaque is a colorless film that forms naturally along the gumline of our teeth. In fact, plaque may form within thirty minutes after brushing and flossing. When plaque is allowed to sit for a prolonged period of the time, the plaque hardens and turns into a calcified deposit known as tartar. Tartar causes serious damage to the gums around the teeth which may lead to irritation, bleeding, and swollen gums. Tartar is often a yellow and brown color; however, it may also look black or green. Tartar needs to be immediately removed in order to prevent damage caused to the teeth due to the breakdown of food sugars.
To prevent tooth decay, you must floss and brush your teeth every day with plaque removing toothpaste. The brush used on a daily basis should be replaced about every three months to prevent the buildup of bacteria. Additionally, to avoid plaque buildup it is advised to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day. In addition, some patients may choose to an alcoholic or non-alcoholic mouthwash that can help kill bacteria that forms between the teeth. Furthermore, to prevent build-up of enamel killing bacteria, it is also advised to watch out for certain foods and drinks that contain carbohydrates or other sugars.
When cavities are left untreated they may reach the center of the tooth where the pulp of the tooth is found. The pulp of the tooth is removed through a root canal procedure to save the tooth. A tooth that is badly affected by a cavity and bacteria, be pulled out to prevent the bacteria from spreading to other parts of the mouth. It is crucial to visit a doctor as soon as you are feeling dental pains. If you are in pain while biting down or your tooth is sensitive to temperatures, then it may be a sign that a cavity is present. Treating a cavity early on will prevent the problem from becoming much worse.
Tooth Decay and Different Layers of the Tooth
When plaque first forms on the surface of the teeth, the acids affect the outer part of the tooth known as the enamel. The damage that is caused to the enamel is permanent, however, it may be sealed with a filling to prevent further decay. Some of the early signs of tooth decay are white spots that form as a result of the demineralization of the tooth caused by the production of acids. At this early stage, the damage is treatable which is why if you notice white spots on your teeth, it may be time to visit a dentist for a checkup and cleaning.
If the problem is left untreated, the bacteria and acids will continue to break the surface of the tooth. Once the enamel is broken or chipped as a result of demineralization, immediate attention is required to prevent further damage to the tooth. When the bacteria and acids penetrate the enamel, the acids will penetrate the portion of the tooth knowns as the dentin. The dentin is made of calcium and phosphate and is receptive to pain. The dentin is located between the enamel and the pulp of the tooth. During this stage, the tooth may be treated to prevent the bacteria from penetrating further into the tooth. Once the bacteria are removed, it can be capped with a crown to prevent bacteria from attacking the dentin and pulp.
When we fail to take care of the problem when bacteria have penetrated into the dentin, the patient may require the attention of a dentist that can perform a root canal treatment. The center of the tooth is known as the pulp which contains the nerves and blood cells. When the pulp of the tooth is infected, the individual will feel a severe pain that may require an emergency treatment. In order to effectively remove the bacteria, a root canal treatment removes the infected pulp and hollows out the tooth. The root canal process aims to save the root of the tooth and is usually capped with a crown that prevents food and bacteria from attacking the saved portion of the tooth.
Individuals who miss their window to address the tooth pain with a root canal treatment may be in more severe pain when the bacteria reach the root of the tooth. When bacteria reach the root of the tooth oral surgery may be required to remove to the infected tooth. An infected tooth can infect the bone structure around the tooth which may lead to the swelling of the gums and tongue. If you are experiencing severe pains you should always visit a dentist to learn more about the root causes of the pain and learn about ways to address the pain.
Preventing a Root Canal
There are a number of ways to prevent a root canal treatment. First and foremost, it is crucial to regularly brush and floss. Performing these basic cleaning duties will remove harmful plaque from our teeth making it more difficult for bacteria to build-up. Furthermore, it is essential to clean between and behind every tooth. Bacteria forms in between teeth where food or sugars have been left behind, especially in the molar teeth which are located towards the back. Additionally, to prevent cavities, it is advised to visit a dentist at least every six months. During a dental check-up and cleaning appointment, a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean, floss, and polish all of your teeth. A dental hygienist will ensure that all plaque and tartar is removed so that the dentist can examine the gums and teeth. A dentist will provide an examination of your teeth, taking x-rays to ensure that all areas of the tooth and gums are disease free. Finally, to prevent tooth decay, it is important to take your dentist's advice and avoid certain foods. As mentioned earlier, sugary snacks and drinks pose a serious threat to the enamel and overall health of the tooth.
Contact The Downey Dentist Near Me
If you are expiring severe pain or your tooth is sensitive to temperatures or you simply notice a deposit forming around your teeth, then it is time to visit a dentist for an examination. An examination can help prevent a root canal treatment by catching the problem early on and taking the correct procedures to stop the spread of the bacteria. To receive a free examination and digital x-rays, you may schedule an appointment with The Downey Dentist by calling our office at 562-746-0350.