How to Avoid Root Canals

What is a root canal?

While root canals are one of the most common dental procedure done worldwide, it’s still important to take steps to avoid needing one at your next appointment. A root canal involves fully removing the inner pulp of a tooth. The pulp houses both the nerves and the blood supply necessary to keep the tooth vital. Once removed, your tooth is more susceptible to breaking and cracking, and it’s often recommended to have the tooth crowned to prevent this from happening or to repair it if it’s already occurred. By avoiding the need for a root canal, you’ll save your teeth from having to go through a root canal and eventually needing a crown.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Because root canals can be caused by severe tooth decay, prevention of cavities is key in saving your teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene at home with twice-a-day brushing and flossing is essential in keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Make it a habit to brush with a quality toothpaste and never forget to floss between teeth, where decay often occurs due to neglect. Using a mouthwash can help to clear away excess bacteria and germs in the mouth. If you don’t already use one, consider switching to a power toothbrush for more effective cleaning.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Because root canals can be caused by severe tooth decay, prevention of cavities is key in saving your teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene at home with twice-a-day brushing and flossing is essential in keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Make it a habit to brush with a quality toothpaste and never forget to floss between teeth, where decay often occurs due to neglect. Using a mouthwash can help to clear away excess bacteria and germs in the mouth. If you don’t already use one, consider switching to a power toothbrush for more effective cleaning.

Treat Cavities Early On

If you’ve been told that you have one or more cavities, have them filled as soon as you hear that you need treatment. If you allow cavities to go untreated for a long period of time, the decay goes deeper and deeper into the tooth. Once the decay has been allowed to reach the inner pulp, a root canal is needed and a filling is no longer sufficient enough on its own.

Avoid Breaking a Tooth

The second most common reason for needing a root canal is because a tooth has broken, cracked or fractured enough to expose the pulp inside. To prevent this from happening, avoid chewing on things that could crack a tooth. This includes pencils, pens, ice cubes and other hard objects. If you notice or feel a tooth break, have it treated right away so that the break doesn’t get worse over time.

Treat Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to breakage and cracking of teeth. Unfortunately, most people who grind their teeth do so in the middle of the night while they’re sleeping. Some of the common signs of bruxism include tooth and jaw pain, sensitivity, flat-looking teeth and morning time headaches. Treatment involves wearing a soft mouth guard at night while you sleep. By wearing a mouth guard and preventing bruxism, you’ll prevent your teeth from breaking and cracking to the point of exposing that inner pulp.

If you would like to learn more about how to prevent and avoid a root canal, call our office today and we can help answer your questions.