There are few things as annoying as a toothache. Even if it comes and goes on its own schedule, that toothache is a sign you have something wrong with your tooth. Ignore it, and that tooth will continue to hurt until it needs to be removed.
To save that tooth, call our Nashua, NH dental office today at 603-546-7460 and schedule your next dental exam. Our Nashua dentists have the expertise needed to know if that toothache can be relieved using a root canal. And believe it or not, modern root canals are virtually pain-free!
When Root Canals Are Needed
Inside each tooth is dental pulp. This is where all the nerves and blood vessels for your tooth can be found. When something goes wrong here, those nerve endings get triggered and you feel a toothache. More importantly, the blood vessels can get damaged. Without them delivering food and oxygen to your tooth, the enamel starts to turn brittle and can easily break open.
There are two reasons your dental pulp can get in trouble: injury and infection.
If you have a bad accident or injury (hit in the mouth by a ball or puck, landing hard after tripping, a bad fall off a bike, and so on), the trauma can reach the dental pulp and inflame it. This inflammation causes tooth pain and enamel weakness.
But more commonly, you have an infection. Your mouth is home to harmful bacteria that cause cavities. If a cavity gets too deep, or if you manage to crack a tooth, the bacteria can infect the dental pulp. As with an injured tooth, you experience a strong toothache and your enamel starts to turn brittle.
In both cases, the solution is a root canal. Whether you have inflamed or infected dental pulp, a root canal procedure can solve the problem.
The Root Canal Procedure
What happens in a root canal? It can vary a little bit since everyone has a unique situation, but here’s how a root canal procedure from our Nashua dentists typically happens.
- Our Nashua dentists take digital X-rays to find the problem in your tooth.
- The area and tooth itself are numbed with a local anesthetic. If needed, you can also get sedation dentistry at this time.
- A small opening is made in the tooth to reach the dental pulp.
- Using modern technology and training, our Nashua dentists gently remove the inflamed or infected pulp.
- Any space left over is filled with an inert substance to keep that tooth “full”.
- Then a dental crown is placed over your tooth. This seals the opening made earlier, but it also adds a layer of protection should your enamel be a bit brittle.
Tips For Avoiding Root Canals
If you need a root canal, don’t worry — modern root canals are virtually painless thanks to our Nashua dentists’ expertise, local anesthetic, and dental sedation. But keeping your teeth healthy in the first place is always a good idea. Here are some tips for avoiding root canals in the future.
– Get regular dental exams from our Nashua dentists
Early detection of problems like inflammation or infection is key to avoiding root canals. A dental exam includes digital X-rays so our Nashua dentists have a better chance of spotting cavities before they grow too big and infect your dental pulp.
– Brush and floss regularly at home
Good dental hygiene is also very important. Not only does regular brushing and flossing avoid cavities that can lead to needing root canals, those cavities also weaken your teeth. This makes them more likely to crack, which again can lead to needing a root canal procedure.
– Get cavities filled (or get a dental crown) as soon as tooth decay is detected
If a dental exam shows you have a cavity, you cannot wait. The longer you go without proper treatment, the greater your chance of that cavity breaking through to the dental pulp. Get a filling or dental crown as soon as you know you have a cavity.
– Wear athletic mouthguards during sports
To help avoid the trauma that leads to an inflamed dental pulp, speak to our Nashua dentists about getting a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard. These are more comfortable and protect your teeth better than any store-bought, generic mouthguard.