The desire for a beautiful, healthy, natural smile is universal. Dental procedures such as root canal treatments aren’t something people aspire to have, and there are things you can do personally that can reduce your risk of having a root canal procedure.
Prevention is the best step you can take to avoid root canal therapy, and it all begins with you at home. If you didn’t grow up with good oral hygiene habits, now is the time to develop them. This simple step can lead directly to good oral health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, following each meal if possible, and absolutely before sleeping. If you don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, you’re providing a robust breeding ground for bacteria to grow and degrade your teeth while you’re sleeping. Floss daily to reach the places between teeth and beneath the gum line that brushing can’t reach.
Fluoride in your toothpaste and in mouthwash can keep your tooth enamel strong and durable. Never give fluoridated toothpastes to children under the age of two years and avoid fluoridated mouthwash until the child is more than six years old.
Maintaining a proper diet ensures that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs for health, both orally and elsewhere in the body. Chewing crunchy foods like raw vegetables and hard fruits can help keep your teeth bright and clean, scraping away debris while you chew.
If you are a smoker, you should stop immediately. Not only is it a huge factor in your oral health, but also for your overall health. Smoking contributes directly to lung disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as other health issues. Your dentist or doctor can give you excellent advice about quitting.
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugared drinks. Rinse your mouth after consuming soda, coffee, tea or a sports drink.
Be sure to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings, and keep your risk of a root canal treatment low.
The goal of root canal therapy is to relieve pain, not cause it. The pain you experience before a root canal is the result of damage to the tissues in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes that damaged tissue, therefore relieving the discomfort you feel. If you are still experiencing tooth pain after undergoing a root canal procedure, it could be an indication of a problem with the treatment.
While mild discomfort is to be expected during the root canal healing process, if the pain continues or becomes more severe, it is likely an indication of a problem. There are several reasons for tooth pain after root canal treatment:
The tooth has an extra canal that was not cleaned and filled, meaning there is an extra physical root.
The tooth has a small, tight accessory canal that is difficult to locate on x-rays or hard to access with the necessary tools.
The tooth is fractured due to the damage and weakened state caused by the original decay and the access cavity that is created to begin the root canal treatment.
The root canal has become reinfected.
The small files used by your dentist to clean out the pulp of the tooth sometimes break, resulting in a failed root canal treatment.
In the days immediately following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum. This discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a few days. If the pain does not ease in a few days or becomes more severe, contact your dental professional immediately to access your symptoms and determine if you are having root canal complications.
Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office
If you have tooth pain or another issue, you might wonder what a visit to the dentist may reveal. You may need a root canal procedure. In order to properly evaluate your issue and to confirm the need for a procedure, a dentist will examine several factors. These typically include the symptoms you are experiencing, the signs observed, and any additional testing required to confirm an initial theory.
You may have noticed:
You experience average to severe pain that lingers, during or immediately after drinking hot liquids or food, or very cold liquids or foods.
You have pain, swelling, or sensitivity when biting or chewing on a certain tooth.
Your tooth pain disrupts your life, preventing you from sleeping through the night or conducting your daily business without taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
You have a “bubble” on your gum, similar to a pimple. When irritated, it may release blood or pus that can smell or taste bad.
You have pain that radiates out from one tooth to other areas of your head or jaw. For example, a tooth pain can lead to a pain behind the eye like a headache or to the ear, resulting in earache symptoms.
You have a discolored tooth that is darker than the surrounding teeth. A grey tooth can indicate a “dead” tooth.
You have a broken or cracked tooth with obvious signs of damage or decay.
Your dentist may have noticed:
A tooth problem revealed by x-rays
A recurring or persistent gum pimple (also called “fistulous tracts”)
A tooth that has changed color
X-ray examination – if x-rays did not reveal the problem, they can provide an extremely clear picture of tooth health
Percussion testing – a gentle tapping on the teeth to evaluate pain response
Thermal testing – a careful application of a hot or cold stimulus to evaluate sensitivity
Sometimes, teeth needing to undergo a root canal procedure have no symptoms discernible to the patient. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment needed to maintain life-long oral health.
If you need root canal treatment in the Baltimore area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
A toothache can ruin your life, at least until you have treatment that relieves the pain. Headaches, mouth pain, or inability to chew can all accompany a tooth problem. It is not unusual for tooth pain to be linked to tooth decay, and when it becomes advanced you just can’t ignore it. This is when root canal therapy is valuable.
What is the procedure?: Root canal treatment focuses on the pulp cavity, which is the inside of the tooth. When the pulp is infected or inflamed, it needs to be completely removed from the tooth in order for it to heal. It doesn’t matter if the damage to the pulp results from severe decay, tooth fracture, faulty crown, repeated dental procedures, or trauma. Even if the damage isn’t visible or causing unbearable pain, the bottom line is that the interior of the tooth must be cleaned out, disinfected and sealed to prevent future infection. A crown is typically placed on top of the tooth to protect it and complete the procedure.
Why is it necessary?: If left untreated, an infected pulp can lead to intense pain or spread to other parts of the body. Root canal treatment is the best way to save the tooth and restore its function. Other benefits of the procedure are maintaining the tooth’s natural look, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, restoring normal chewing ability, and allowing normal sensation and biting force.
How long does it take?: The procedure is more routine than you might think. An experienced dental professional can complete the process is one or two appointments, depending on your specific case. Once the procedure is complete, your repaired tooth should last as long as the rest of your teeth.
We look forward to seeing you in our Baltimore dental office
One of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry is root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends this procedure, you might be quick to turn to the internet or other sources to learn about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of unreliable information out there, which can scare you away from needed treatment.
There are some common myths that circulate about root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding treatment, learn the truth about this procedure that may be the most effective way to save a damaged tooth.
Myth: Root canal treatment is very painful.
Truth: This procedure often serves to relieve pain instead of creating it. With the anesthetics and sedation dentistry available today, in most cases the procedure feels like simply getting a filling.
Myth: You don’t need root canal treatment unless you are experiencing severe tooth pain.
Fact: Pain is not always present when root canal therapy is advised by your dentist. A tooth that has died may no longer trigger pain, but treatment is necessary to eliminate infection and save the tooth. Diagnostic tests are available to help your dentist diagnose tooth problems even when pain is not present.
Myth: The benefits of root canal treatment are short-lived.
Fact: This treatment provides durable and long-lasting results, potentially for a lifetime. Since the tooth is usually topped with a crown, it can be protected indefinitely.
Myth: Root canal treatment causes illnesses.
Fact: This is one of the most common misconceptions you might run across on the internet. Based on very old research that has been proven to be wrong, the myth still exists that root canal therapy might cause various diseases. Instead, root canal treatment is safe and only improves your oral and overall health.
Myth: Tooth extraction is an adequate alternative to root canal therapy.
Fact: Dentists agree that saving your natural tooth is almost always preferred over a traumatic procedure like tooth extraction. The benefits of keeping your restored real tooth are better than having a hole in your smile or requiring tooth replacement solutions.
Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.
Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.
Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.
Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.
If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.
Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.
If you live in the Baltimore area contact us today