Have you ever wondered how a root canal forms? Are these things painful?
You probably have never wondered, “How does a root canal form?” and that’s because it’s not something we ever want to think about happening to us. But, as unfortunate as it can be when it does happen, a root canal is usually not the end of the world. It may hurt worse than any other dental procedure, but you should be grateful that you can get one in the first place!
In this informative blog, we talk about everything you need to know about root canals, from the formation of root canals to what are the best ways to make it feel better when the devil visits you.
First, let’ start with what is a root canal?
This is a dental procedure that involves the removal of the pulp; the pulp is the soft center part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, connective tissues which are responsible for the creation of the surrounding hard tissues during tooth development.
Usually, the procedure is carried out by a general dentist or an endodontist.
Secondly, now let’s take a look at how a root canal is formed.
How is a root canal formed?
Root canal infections are mostly caused by bacterial infections and there’s more than one strand of bacteria causing this infection. But the question how do the bacteria get into the tooth? So, like dental cavities, root canals are formed similarly. With cavities, the decay occurs in the enamel and the inner layer of the tooth resulting in the formation of small holes in the tooth which are popularly known as cavities. These holes are usually painful and the person affected might begin to experience toothache if the holes deepen further.
And it is at this point that it’s recommended that you see a dentist get the cavities cleaned and filled. However, root canals, go much deeper into the tooth than the cavities.
As stated earlier, root canals affect the inner root that is the pulp of the tooth and this inner part of the tooth is really sensitive as it is made up of nerves and blood vessels, so when it becomes infected, you are bound to fill the pain more intensely (you will fain pain throughout your tooth and jaw).
Also, it’s important to note that it takes a while before root canals forms and it might take several months before you discover something is wrong.
Before we dive into what to do to prevent it, below are some of the causes of root canal infections;
- Lack of proper dental hygiene: This is one of the important things to do to prevent root canal infection and any kind of dental infection. By brushing your teeth twice daily, you protect yourself as brushing helps to disrupt the build-up of bacterial biofilm that turn into plaque while flossing helps to clean hard-to-reach areas in the mouth.
- Trauma: When a person experiences an accident it involves damage to the tooth, this will leave the tooth exposed to bacteria and this damaged tooth could serve as an opening for bacteria to enter the soft layers beneath the enamel and work its way to the root.
- Long-term gum disease: Gum disease is a long-term infection and it usually attacks the soft tissues that provide and supports blood flow to the teeth. So, if you notice bleeding or discoloration of the gums, this is a sign of gum disease and it’s important to see a dentist early to avoid spreading throughout your mouth and leading to a root canal infection.
- Cavities: Untreated cavities are another cause of root canal infection so if you leave a hole in your tooth uncleaned and unfilled for a long time, there is the likelihood that it could turn into a root canal infection. And this is possible because the bacteria-causing cavity continues to eat deeper into the tooth until the root of the tooth is infected.
Now let’s take a look at what to do to prevent root canal infection
How to prevent root canals from forming
- Good dental hygiene: While lack of dental hygiene is one of the major causes of root canal infection, maintaining good dental hygiene is one of the major ways to prevent a root canal from forming. Maintaining good dental hygiene helps to prevent bacteria-causing root canals from settling and causing decay.
- Periodic Dental Visit: It’s recommended that you pay a visit to the dentist every 6 months to get your teeth checked and cleaned. During this checkup, you could inform your consulting dentist if there is any part of your mouth that feels painful or sensitive. Regular checkups make it possible for you to discover root canal issues early and treat them before they become problematic.
- Balanced Diet: Try to eat healthily and avoid too much sugar as the bacteria in the mouth thrives on sugar and can lead to cavities. Also, it’s important to note that if you have cavities you visit a dentist to have them filled and cleaned as unfilled cavities can lead to root canal infections.
In addition, after going through a root canal procedure, it’s important to do the following;
- Avoid using the damaged tooth until it is permanently filled or a crown placed on them.
- Make sure to visit the dentist some days after the procedure so an X-ray can be carried out to make sure all infections have been removed and the temporary filling replaced by a permanent filling.
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