Maintaining Oral Health and Preventing Root Canal Infections
The outer layer of the tooth, or the enamel, serves many important purposes. It is a hard, durable layer that strengthens the tooth and allows the teeth to withstand daily wear and tear. Another important purpose of the enamel is to protect the more sensitive inner layer of the tooth, where the tooth’s nerves and pulp reside. If the enamel is weakened by injury, decay, or erosion, oral functions may become more difficult, pain and/or sensitivity is likely, and the tooth becomes vulnerable to infection. Restorative dentistry treatments repair damage to the enamel and rebuild the strength of the tooth so that further dental complications, such as a root canal infection can be avoided. Restorative dentistry services are just one way in which our Birmingham patients can prevent root canal infections.
What Is a Root Canal Infection?
A root canal infection occurs when bacteria are able to get past the tooth’s protective layer of enamel and work its way into the center of the tooth. This is where the pulp of the tooth resides. The nerves and tissues can become infected and inflamed by the presence of bacteria. A root canal infection is likely to result in pain, increased sensitivity, and a compromised level of oral functions.
How to Prevent Root Canal Infections
Because root canal infections exist in the center of the tooth, the best way to prevent them is to stop bacteria from reaching the inner layer of the tooth. Patients must take proper care of the teeth to ensure that the protective layer of enamel remains strongly intact. Below are important oral hygiene habits that will help patients maintain strong, healthy tooth enamel:
- Brush regularly: Ideally, patients should brush the teeth after each meal. However, since this might not always be practical, we urge patients to brush at least twice a day and to follow each meal with a drink or rinse of water.
- Floss: Brushing alone will not prevent the buildup of bacteria. Flossing removes food particles and other debris from between the teeth and gums, which will keep bacteria count low.
- See the dentist bi-annually: Even those who follow the above oral hygiene habits will need to see the dentist regularly, at least twice a year. Professional cleanings are important to oral health and examinations can identify any tooth decay or erosion early on, so that appropriate treatment can be scheduled.
- Undergo recommended dental care: If signs of injury, decay, or erosion are present, Dr. Burton Gooch will recommend restorative dental treatment. It is important to follow through with this treatment in order to rebuild tooth strength, restore oral health, and prevent more serious complications, including root canal infections.
Schedule an Appointment
Regular dental exams and cleanings are a vital part of maintaining good oral health. If you are due for a dental exam and are looking for a caring and professional dentist who can meet your general, restorative, and cosmetic dental needs, look no further than Dr. Burton Gooch. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gooch at your earliest convenience to benefit from a superior level of oral health care. We look forward to meeting you!