Imagine how you would feel if you learned that you needed a root canal treatment, and the dentist had to do it as soon as possible.
You may think that’s an unlikely scenario, but in some dental emergencies, that is precisely what may need to happen. You can do things to reduce your risk of a tooth infection, which also makes it less likely that you will need a root canal treatment.
The staff at Bayou Dental Group wants you to understand the preventive steps that you can take. We also want you to know that we can treat infected teeth painlessly at our dentist office in Monroe, LA.
By visiting our Louisiana dental center early, you often can stop problems before a root canal treatment becomes necessary.
◼︎ Scenario 1: Tooth Decay
Cavities are one of the common causes of infected teeth. Fortunately, you can prevent this problem by seeking help as soon as you realize tooth decay is eating into one of your teeth.
Dental fillings and dental crowns are typically considered restorative treatments, yet they can be considered preventive measures with regard to root canal treatments.
The longer you allow tooth decay to remain, the deeper bacteria will eat into your tooth. After they get through your enamel (which is the hardest substance on the human body), they only need to eat through a layer of dentin to reach the center of your tooth.
This is the pulp chamber, which contains pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. Pulp is a connective tissue. When bacteria attacks it, the pulp can become infected and inflamed. This inflammation triggers the pain that you associate with an infected tooth. Once that happens, a root canal treatment is needed. This is the procedure we use to remove the infected material from the inside of your tooth, to sanitize the inside of the tooth, and to seal it to prevent new infections.
If you act sooner, we can remove the tooth decay, then give you a dental filling or a dental crown (for larger cavities). This stops the bacteria from continuing to eat into your tooth and creates a protective seal over the part of the tooth that has already been damaged.
◼︎ Scenario 2: Gum Disease
Gum disease causes more lost teeth in the United States than anything else. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that untreated gum disease causes lost teeth.
Gum disease affects a majority of people at some point in their lives. If you ignore the symptoms, then it can expose your teeth to infections at their roots.
In the latter stages of periodontal disease, pockets will form in your gum tissue. These pockets are prime locations for bacteria to form plaque, which can turn into tartar. If these pockets are near the roots of your teeth, then bacteria can eat into your tooth.
The cementum that covers your roots is not as hard or as thick as the enamel on the crown of your teeth. By eating into the root, bacteria can reach the dentin sooner and then into your root canals. Blood vessels and nerves enter your teeth through these openings, which also contain pulp. Once again, this can lead to infections and inflammation.
If there is good news, it’s that you have several opportunities to stop periodontal disease before it can cause your tooth to become infected. In the earliest stages, you often can reverse gum disease by improving your brushing and flossing habits.
Even after the disease progresses, we have gum disease treatments that can remove infected tissue along with bacteria, plaque, and tartar. By getting treated, a tooth infection may not be a concern.
◼︎ Scenario 3: Broken Tooth
Accidents can happen anywhere at any time, and those accidents can cause broken teeth. The breaks can expose the inside of your tooth to bacteria, which once again can eat into the innermost parts of that tooth. This is one of the reasons we encourage patients to repair broken teeth as soon as possible with dental crowns.
One thing you can do to reduce your risk for this kind of injury is to wear a properly fitting athletic mouthguard during high-impact sports and activities. Like a seat belt, mouthguards won’t stop an accident from happening, but wearing one may be the difference between a major injury and a minor one.
Avoid Infected Teeth
Another important step in identifying problems early is coming to our dentist office in Monroe, LA, for routine cleanings and examinations. We have found several problems early because of this.