No one ever wakes up in the morning looking forward to a root canal. But if you need this procedure, there are two things to know.
First, you’ll have a pain-free procedure at Linda Kay Nichols, DMD, PA, because we make sure you have the right anesthetic to keep you comfortable during your root canal.
And second, if you need a root canal it’s because the inside of your tooth is infected, and this procedure is the only way to treat the problem and save your tooth. While that’s one of the top benefits of a root canal, it’s not the only one.
Here’s a rundown of the health advantages of getting a root canal:
Eliminates your pain
Root canals are done when the center of your tooth, called the pulp, becomes inflamed and infected. The pulp is a soft area that contains blood vessels and nerves. Even the slightest inflammation in this area pushes against the nerves and causes extreme pain.
To make it worse, the pulp is surrounded by a hard substance called dentin. When the pulp is inflamed, it’s confined to a tight space, which only adds to the pressure and magnifies your pain. This excruciating pain is quickly relieved when you get a root canal.
Stops infection from spreading
Nerves and blood vessels enter your teeth through small openings in the tips of the tooth roots. Unfortunately, infection in the pulp can leave the tooth the same way. From there it can spread into your jaw and throughout your body.
When bacteria that originate in your mouth go systemic and travel to other parts of your body, it puts you at risk for many serious health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver disease
- Sinus infections
As dental bacteria trigger inflammation throughout your body, they can trigger new disease or aggravate and accelerate the progression of existing diseases.
Though it’s not common, it’s possible to end up with a life-threatening condition called sepsis. Sepsis occurs when your body responds to an overwhelming infection by destroying tissues.
Protects your jawbone
If the infection in the tooth pulp spreads into your jawbone, you end up with a condition called osteomyelitis. Then inflammation develops that can quickly erode the jawbone. Without treatment, you’re at risk of losing teeth as the damaged jawbone stops anchoring them.
Preserves your natural tooth
While stopping pain and eliminating the infection are crucial, ultimately, the most important benefit of a root canal is saving your natural tooth.
During a root canal, we remove the pulp and infection. The remaining tooth stays strong and healthy. In some cases, we may need to cover the tooth with a dental crown. But others can retain their natural tooth crown.
Preserving your tooth means that the roots stay anchored in the jawbone, where they maintain a healthy jaw by stimulating new bone growth.
An added benefit of saving your natural tooth is that you can avoid having the tooth pulled and needing a dental implant.
At the first sign of a toothache, don’t wait to get help. The longer you wait, the better your chances are of developing the type of infection or abscess that needs a root canal. If you live in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico, and want to schedule an appointment, call our office or book your visit online.