Reasons for Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is necessary when the soft tissue inside your root canal (the pulp) is inflamed or infected. Deep tooth decay, faulty crowns, repeated dental procedures and cracked or chipped teeth are just a few examples of dental issues that could call for a root canal. In addition, an injury to your tooth may damage the pulp even if the rest of the tooth doesn’t show visible cracks or chips.

If pulp inflammation or infection is left unaddressed, it can trigger pain or lead to an abscess. Besides addressing the pain and infection, endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, limit the need for ongoing treatment, and continue eating the foods you love. Below are more detailed descriptions of the reasons for root canal therapy.

To Remove Infection

When your tooth’s pulp or nerve tissue is damaged, it breaks down and allows bacteria to multiply within the pulp chamber. Typically, bacteria and other decayed debris can trigger an infection or abscessed tooth. Often associated with pulsating pain, an abscess is a pocket that forms around the roots of the affected tooth. This can happen when the infection is allowed to spread beyond the ends of the tooth’s roots.

An infection in the root canal can also cause:

  • Swelling that extends to other areas of the face, head, or neck
  • Bone loss around the root’s tips
  • Drainage issues extending outward from the root

Pulp infection is a sign that the tooth is dying, and it’s not going to go away on its own. When left untreated, the pain can worsen, and the infection can spread to other parts of the body. A root canal is an effective way to address nerve tissue infections and save your natural tooth.

To Keep Your Natural Tooth Root

Losing a permanent tooth is a significant dental problem. It affects more than just your smile. Losing even a single tooth can have far-reaching effects, such as:

  • Diminishing Oral Function: Depending on how many teeth you’ve lost and their location, you may find it difficult to bite or chew crunchy food.
  • Bone Loss: Your teeth are lodged in the jawbone and help to stimulate bone and keep it dense through regular chewing. When teeth have been missing for extended periods, your jawbone can begin to shrink, causing premature aging or a sunken appearance.
  • Further Tooth Loss and Alignment Issues: Bone density loss can cause other teeth to loosen in the long run. Significant gaps in your smile can also cause surrounding teeth to begin shifting towards the open spaces.

Other Endodontic Treatments

In some cases, root canal therapy is not a cut-and-dry procedure. For example, retreatment deals with the entire length of the root canal, while apicoectomy treats only the area around the final 6mm of the canal. In addition, endodontic surgery can find hidden canals, remove calcium deposits, repair root surfaces and the surrounding bone.

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