What is a Root Canal, and Why is it Done?The purpose of root canal treatment is to save a natural tooth by removing bacteria from its infected root canal and preventing further tooth infection. Your dentist does this by carefully removing the infected pulp and nerve located inside the tooth. The inside of the tooth is then extensively cleaned and later sealed. During this treatment, an abscess can form due to the infection spreading throughout the tooth. Likewise, making sure the natural tooth is saved helps the patient by fostering:
- More efficient chewing process
- A more normal biting force
- A natural appearance
- Increased protection of neighboring teeth
What Are the Negative Effects of Having a Root Canal?While a root canal can prevent the loss of an already infected tooth, multiple complications can arise from the procedure. Some of these include expanding the infection outside the infected area, a gradual gathering of unsavory materials such as cholesterol crystals, and an overactive immune response to the root canal itself.
4 Ways You Can Prevent a Root CanalFortunately, there are ways you can prevent a root canal from ever becoming necessary.
Make Oral Hygiene a Top PriorityIt might sound overly simple, but maintaining good oral hygiene is an important first step in preventing the infection, leading to an eventual root canal. You can accomplish this by brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing as often as you can. The sooner you can turn these actions into habits, the better.
Avoid Chewing Excessively Hard FoodsCracks in teeth allow the bacteria that cause infections to creep into the root system. You’re much more likely to encounter these kinds of cracks if you chew on hard foods, candies, or ice.
Don’t Consume Overly Acidic or Sugary Foods and DrinksSodas and citrus juices increase your chance of infection by breaking down your tooth’s enamel and drenching the tooth in harmful sugar. Other foods and drinks to limit or avoid altogether include:
- Dried fruits
- Lollipops and other hard candies
- Overly sweetened coffee or tea
- Crunchy chips