Did you know that a root canal can literally save your life? It’s true. While many patients might not realize it, the end goal of timely dental treatment is much more than just vanity. While keeping your teeth healthy will also keep them looking nice, getting necessary dental treatment can also prevent damaged teeth from creating much more serious and life-threatening conditions.
It might be hard to imagine, that a toothache could progress from a dull pain to a deadly affliction, but this just goes to show how important regular and conscientious dental care is. The problem occurs when infection eventually forms what’s called an abscess.
An abscess is a pus-filled deposit that forms inside the tooth or between your tooth and your gum. It is the result of bacteria and infection eating away at healthy cells in your tooth. When it’s in your gum (a periodontal abscess) it is generally caused by infection that’s thriving between the tooth and the gum line. This can be caused by a number of reasons, but most frequently the underlying source was food that got trapped between the tooth and gum, providing food for bacteria and infection.
When the abscess is inside your tooth, it means the nerves of the tooth are either already dead or dying. This generally manifests at the root of the tooth.
Both kinds of dental abscess can contribute to the continued spread of infection and bacteria into the surrounding tissue of your mouth, including the jaw bone, your gums, and even into your bloodstream. Not treating a dental abscess can lead to very serious illnesses.
How to prevent dental abscesses
Fortunately, preventing a dental abscess and avoiding the need for root canal treatment is actually pretty simple. It all comes down to taking care of your teeth. By regularly brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist every 6 months, you ensure that your teeth are set-up for success, while steering clear of dangerous infections that put your smile at risk.
Other tips to avoid dental abscess:
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods: sugar is one of the most damaging substances for your teeth, and can contribute to the wearing down of your enamel and the formation of cavities that allow infection inside your tooth.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste: fluoride strengthens your tooth’s enamel and help make it stronger. This is especially important if you have receding gums that could potentially expose additional parts of your tooth to decay.
- Rinse with Fluoride!: In addition to using fluoride toothpaste, rinsing with fluoride will also help keep your teeth strong, while boosting their defense against damaging sugar and decay.
By receiving root canal treatment when your tooth has become undermined by an abscess, not only do you eliminate the discomfort that you’ll likely be experiencing (most abscesses are accompanied by considerable pain), but you also stop the infection from spreading by cleaning out the tooth, emptying the abscess, and reinforcing the area with a new dental crown. With a little extra care, now your tooth should be healthy for years to come.