Root canal treatments are endodontic procedures that include the removal of the pulp from a tooth's interior chambers and canals. Dentists often perform these treatments to alleviate the pain caused by inflamed dental nerves.
The nerves and blood supply of a tooth reside in the pulp, which is the innermost layer of the tooth material. When a tooth becomes infected or severely decayed, the pulp may swell, inflaming the dental nerves. If the pulp has suffered irreparable damage, the toothache may continue until the tooth is treated endodontically or is extracted.
People who need root canal treatments may experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as gingival abscesses, throbbing tooth pain, tender gums, and dark tooth discoloration. A root canal procedure can alleviate the symptoms. Additionally, root canal procedures may help protect your other teeth.
Here are a few ways that a root canal could prevent problems with your healthy teeth.
Stop The Spread of Infection That Could Cause Loose Teeth
If the infected pulp of a tooth is not treated or removed quickly, the infection may spread. The infection-causing microbes may travel to the jawbone, infecting and inflaming the bone tissue. When the jawbone becomes infected, it may shrink or atrophy. This shrinkage can cause healthy teeth to become loose in their sockets.
Additionally, the bacteria causing the infection may enter the bloodstream, resulting in a serious systemic infection.
Retain the Treated Tooth to Prevent Nearby Teeth From Shifting
If the root canal-treated tooth was severely decayed or infected, the only alternative treatment may have been extraction. Once a tooth is extracted, it can no longer act as a place keeper, preventing nearby teeth from moving from their proper position.
After a tooth has been removed, adjacent teeth have enough room to migrate. There is no barrier to hold them in place. Consequently, the teeth may become misaligned.
Prevent the Spread of Decay
A root canal procedure may also prevent the spread of decay. If the cavity in the decayed tooth has become deep enough to breach the enamel and dentin layers, the decay is in more advanced stages and may easily spread to other teeth.
During a root canal procedure, the dentist removes the pulp, but any areas of decay are also removed. After the pulp removal, the tooth is filled, disinfected, and covered by a dental crown.
To learn more about root canal procedures, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.