You’ve decided that it’s time to be more responsible with your oral health, but there are some problems that linger from the past. One of them is a tooth that has become very sensitive. You know that you’ve let the problem go on for too long, but you’re looking for a way to rectify it now. Your dentist in Tyler says you may need a root canal procedure to correct the issue. Learn more about how the process works and when it is necessary to consider.
What is a Root Canal?
To better understand what a root canal is, it’s best to assess the structure of the tooth. The outer part is the enamel. It is the protector of the softer layer underneath, the dentin. Beneath the dentin, there is another layer called the pulp, which contains nerve components. Each pulp leads to the root of the tooth.
The root canal process, then, is a procedure that allows the root of the tooth to rid itself of toxins and absorb the nutrients it needs from the blood instead.
The procedure involves your dentist cleaning out the diseased canal, filling it with dental composite, and sealing it. It can be used in certain cases of a deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture.
When a Root Canal Can’t Be Used
There are certain situations that a root canal can’t fix. If you let any of the above listed issues go too long, they can cause bacterial infection, which can lead to bone degeneration, tooth loss, and more severe pain. In some cases, the only option may be to extract the tooth.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
A root canal is designed to fix a problem caused by tooth decay, but the latter is preventable by maintaining a few good oral hygiene practices:
- Brush and Floss – Make sure to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to remove food particles and bacteria that lead to plaque buildup.
- Healthy Foods – A diet high in fruits and vegetables helps to create a healthy environment in your mouth, which is less acidic. This helps to fortify your teeth, producing more enzymes in your saliva that dissolve food particles.
- Resist Snacks – Try to avoid frequent snacking, so that your mouth can have a break from food particles and bacteria that seek to attack your teeth and gums.
Prevention is always the best option, but if you find yourself in pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist. And remember, that by maintaining a twice a year appointment for a checkup and cleaning, you allow your dentist a chance to catch any problems early and nip them in the bud.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stanbury graduated from Texas A&M in 1971 and Baylor College of Dentistry in 1974. Certified in Oral Conscious Sedation, he participates in a variety of continuing education courses throughout the year. He practices at Stansbury Dental and be reached for more information about his services through his website.