A dental infection is a serious issue, one that could lead to major complications and for some, the loss of a tooth. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at what causes them, and when you should see your Kansas City, MO, dentist for a root canal treatment. We’re also going to talk about how to help prevent one in the first place!
The Causes of a Dental Infection
What makes a tooth become infected? At the center of each tooth is a bundle of living tissues known as the pulp. The pulp keeps your tooth healthy and functional, overseeing the flow of blood and nutrients to and from your tooth. The pulp is surrounded by dentin, and then protected by the outermost layer of enamel, which safeguards the tooth from damage and decay. However, if the enamel is compromised, such as when a tooth is cracked or chipped or following enamel erosion due to plaque buildup, then bacteria reaches the dentin and causes a cavity. The cavity will grow and spread, eventually reaching your pulp and allowing an infection to form. Warning signs often include soreness or pain when you bite down and chew, toothaches and swelling near the aching tooth, and a discharge from the tooth itself.
Treatment with Root Canal Therapy
If you begin to experience the painful symptoms we mentioned above, then contact our office to let us know. We will schedule a time to see our team for treatment. At our office, we follow strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols, regularly cleaning surfaces people touch in between each visit and scheduling our patients so that the waiting room is never full. The root canal process involves the dentist administering a local anesthetic and then opening the tooth to access and remove the infected tissues. We then fill the tooth with a restorative filling material and cap it with a lifelike crown. This procedure halts the infection and protects the tooth from further issues.
What Happens Next?
Following treatment, you should take steps to limit the risk of future cavities and infections. Start by brushing your teeth when you wake up and again before bed for two minutes, using a toothpaste with fluoride. Before bed, always floss up and down each side of every tooth, making contact with the gum line to ensure you’re reaching and removing all trapped food particles. Cut back on sugary foods and drinks to prevent cavities, and if you play sports, wear a mouthguard to limit the chances of a cracked or chipped tooth.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT RESTORATIVE TREATMENTS?
Our team would like to help you and your family enjoy optimal oral health. To learn more about our restorative procedures, then schedule a consultation by calling Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO, today at 816-897-4288.