Root canals have a bad rep, but this common treatment can save a tooth — which you know if you’ve already had a root canal. Still, no one wants to have a root canal, especially because a tooth can become incredibly painful or hypersensitive when you need one.
Fortunately, you can often prevent the need for this procedure by taking good care of your teeth. How? Simply practice good oral hygiene and keep up with your preventive care appointments. Following these steps helps keep your teeth and gums healthy, which can keep pain and tooth decay at bay.
However, even with the most diligent dental care, you could still need a root canal at some point. At EZ Dental Clinic in Bellevue, Washington, our skilled dentists offer pain relief from a wide range of dental issues, including infected teeth. And you can rest easy knowing that we preserve your natural tooth structure whenever possible.
We can also offer personalized tips for keeping your teeth healthy. Here’s what you need to know about root canals and how to prevent them.
Why you could need a root canal
You may hear “root canal” and think of the dental procedure. But the treatment gets its name from a part of your tooth — the root canal. The tooth root, which is below the gums, is hollow and filled with pulp. This tissue is made from your nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
If you have tooth decay or a tooth fracture, it can damage the delicate pulp inside the root canal. When this occurs, pulp can become inflamed, infected, or damaged. In response, the tooth becomes very sensitive and painful.
To relieve this issue, your dentist removes the damaged pulp from the root canal during the aptly named “root canal” treatment. Then, they fill the empty, disinfected canals and pulp chamber with a dental material that adds strength to the tooth structure.
How to prevent a root canal
As mentioned above, nothing staves off a root canal better than consistent preventive care to safeguard your mouth against tooth decay and oral infections. So don’t forget to brush, floss, and schedule regular dental cleanings. But that’s only the beginning.
Watch your diet
Those sweets and sugary drinks may taste great, but they create excess bacteria in your mouth that can be difficult to remove, even with regular flossing and brushing. When given a chance to settle onto a tooth, bacteria can trigger decay. Instead of the sweets, treat your teeth right and stick with fresh fruits and veggies.
Drink plenty of water
Have you ever wondered what saliva was all about? Healthy saliva production is essential for your oral health. It protects your teeth and helps remove harmful bacteria.
Fortunately, you can also prevent a dry mouth by drinking plenty of water. Sipping on a glass of water throughout the day can help keep your mouth feeling fresh and free from the harmful bacteria that clings to your teeth.
Remember to clean your tongue
What does your tongue have to do with your teeth and tooth roots? Plaque may be the sticky film that develops on your teeth when you don’t brush, but it clings on your tongue, too, when you don’t remove it properly, and it can endanger your teeth.
Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your tongue clean. Simply give it a gentle brushing whenever you take care of your teeth.
Taking steps toward better oral health
Do you remember when you had your last checkup? Keeping up with these visits can help you prevent small issues from becoming big problems that require more involved dental treatments, like root canals. Similarly, if you have tooth pain or sensitivity, don’t ignore it. When it gets really bad, it often requires root canal treatment.
Instead, be proactive with your oral health and call EZ Dental Clinic at 425-746-6090 or request a visit online today.