You’re not ashamed to admit that you haven’t been the most responsible person in maintaining your oral health. After all, you noticed some slight discomfort in one of your teeth some time ago, but you kept putting it on the backburner. Then, one day that tooth said, “Hey! Pay attention – I’m damaged!” And wow, did it ever get your attention. You bit into a piece of food and a sensation of pain shot through your entire jaw. Needless to say, you’re paying attention now. You want this problem fixed, but you’re not sure what needs to be done. Your local dentist says that you may need a root canal of Annapolis. Learn more about what this restorative dentistry procedure entails and why it’s dangerous to ignore the warning signs that you need one.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure that repairs decayed teeth that still have enough material left to be salvaged. The process begins with your dentist making an opening in the effected tooth and then going in to remove the decayed tissue in the inner layer. He then thoroughly cleans the tooth, fills and seals it. It is now restored to its function.
What Happens if a Decayed Tooth is Neglected for Too Long?
If a tooth is allowed to decay for too long, there can be several negative events that can transpire:
- Tooth Loss – If a tooth is neglected for too long, there may not be enough material left to repair it, and it will eventually require being pulled. And this could necessitate other costly procedures like implants or dentures.
- Abscess – If the decayed material is not removed from the tooth, it can cause an abscess. This severe infection can lead to acute bone degeneration over time, and a host of other problems.
- Other Health Issues – The health of your mouth is not isolated. It is connected to the rest of your body. Failure to address an oral problem can lead to more severe issues like stroke, heart attack or high cholesterol.
How to Prevent the Need for a Root Canal
The best defense against conditions that lead to severe tooth decay is to practice excellent oral hygiene, which involves brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Just know too, that your teeth aren’t the only concern of your hygiene. Your mouth and gums are of equal significance.
Your other tool is the preventive care offered by your dentist. You should be maintaining semi-annual visits for cleanings and examinations to prevent getting to the point where you’d even have to consider a root canal. You have the power to control the destiny of your oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Barry Grosshandler has been practicing cosmetic and restorative dentistry for over 38 years. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. He practices at Dr. Barry Grosshandler and can be reached for more information through his website.