You have probably heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to your oral health, this is definitely true. Although modern restorative dentistry is able to return form and function to nearly any mouth, regardless of the damage it has suffered, there is no dental treatment that is as effective as prevention. This is why the experienced dental team at DeJesus Dental Group stresses regular dental visits and preventive dentistry to our patients from their initial consultation onward.
We are particularly eager to emphasize the importance of root canal infection prevention at our Bridgeport practice. While root canal therapy has come a long way over the years and is now virtually painless, it still requires the removal of a significant amount of tooth structure in order to salvage the healthy portion of the tooth. It is far better to keep the tooth in optimal health all along and avoid the need for root canal therapy in the first place.
What is a root canal?
Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is not a dental procedure (which takes some of the humor out of the old joke, “I’d rather have a root canal!”). A root canal is actually a physical structure; each tooth in your mouth contains between one and four root canals. Within each canal, there is a substance called dental pulp. This pulp comprises vital nutrients that keep the tooth alive, including nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
The outer structures of the tooth protect the pulp contained within the root canals. However, once these structures become compromised by trauma or decay, the pulp can become inflamed or infected. At this point, you will feel (probably excruciating) tooth pain, which will continue until root canal therapy is performed or the tooth dies.
How can root can infections be prevented?
The best way to avoid root canal infections is to keep the protective outer layers of the tooth intact and healthy. You can do this by:
- Brushing and flossing properly at home: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day and after every meal, following by a thorough flossing between teeth. Do not brush too hard, as this can cause your enamel to become worn. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash after each brushing and flossing.
- Visit our practice at least twice a year as recommended by the American Dental Association: When you brush and floss properly, you will remove a great deal of the plaque from your teeth; however, some plaque cannot be accessed without the aid of a dental professional. Likewise, plaque that has hardened into tartar cannot be removed at home. Twice-a-year professional cleanings and oral exams will help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
- Seek treatment if you suffer a dental emergency: If your teeth become chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged, don’t assume it’s a minor problem simply because you don’t experience any pain. When the enamel becomes compromised, bacteria can cause harm to the underlying dentin layer far more easily. Seek immediate treatment to ensure the health of your teeth.
Learn More about How You Can Prevent Root Canal Infections
To learn more about how you can prevent root canal infections, please contact DeJesus Dental Group today.