Although tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can become damaged by decay, trauma or infection. Fortunately, if this occurs, the dentists here at Dr. George Salem and Associates, PC, in Braintree, MA, can treat the issue with root canal therapy—read on to learn more about how this method can protect your oral health!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
When bacteria enters a tooth, it often adversely affect the health of the dental pulp, the soft inner-structure that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The dental pulp is instrumental in the development of a tooth; however, once the tooth has fully matured, the pulp is no longer important to dental health. Therefore, if bacteria infects or irritates the pulp, a root canal can remove the pulp to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Along with removing the dental pulp, the purpose of the root canal is to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. While you might assume that it’s just easier to have the tooth removed and replaced, this is far more time consuming, expensive, and uncomfortable than simply undergoing a root canal to save the tooth. Whenever possible, it’s always best to save your natural teeth instead of pulling them.
When is a root canal performed?
Your dentist may recommend root canal therapy if you are dealing with,
- A cracked, broken, or fractured tooth
- A severely decayed tooth
- Traumatic injury or direct impact to the tooth (which can also affect the health of the pulp)
What are the signs that I might need a root canal?
Some people may not even experience symptoms of an infected or inflamed dental pulp. Keeping up with your six-month checkups, regardless of whether you notice problems or not, is important for the whole family. Of course, you should also turn to your dentist in Braintree, MA, for immediate care if you experience:
- A severe and persistent toothache
- Pain when chewing, biting, or applying pressure to the affected tooth
- Increased or sudden lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Red, swollen, and tender gums surrounding the tooth
- Darkening of a tooth
- Bad breath
- An abscess (a pimple-like bump that develops on the gums)
Concerned? Give us a call
No matter whether you are noticing a toothache or if it’s just time to get a routine dental checkup, our Braintree, MA, dental team can help you receive the care you need. If you suspect that you might need a root canal. call us right away at (781) 843-0660.