What Are the Reasons for Needing a Root Canal?

Posted: July 8, 2020
Authored by:

A man with dark hair and a beard smiles and looks off camera Root canal treatment provides the amazing advantage of saving a vulnerable tooth. Root canal treatment – also called endodontic treatment – saves the tooth by removing the infected tissue. 

What is the reason for needing a root canal? There is an infection in the soft tissue inside of a tooth’s root canals. This soft tissue is known as “dental pulp,” and it contains nerves and blood vessels. The dental pulp is what makes it possible to sense hot and cold temperatures in your teeth. Removing the pulp does not kill the tooth, so it should be removed if it’s infected and inflamed.

It takes time for the infection to spread to the point of requiring root canal treatment. Most often, it starts with a cavity, or a crack in the tooth that leaves the soft tissue beneath vulnerable to infection. If you visit the dentist regularly, we are able to catch early cavities before they progress to serious problems. In their early stages, cavities are treated with fillings. Fillings are less costly and less invasive.

In generations past, a badly infected tooth would be pulled, leaving the patient with a gap between their teeth and the need for a tooth replacement. 

Here are some of the reasons an infection can progress:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits. Brush twice each day and floss once every day. Brush for two minutes and be sure get the chewing, inner, and outer surfaces of the teeth. It is important to brush and floss before bed. It is also great to use a Waterpik and electric toothbrush. These hygiene fundamentals go a long way in preventing teeth decay and infection because they reduce the bacteria that cause those problems.
  • Missing your regular dental appointments. The teeth cleanings performed by our experienced dental hygienists represent a level of plaque-fighting that you cannot achieve with your toothbrush and floss alone. No dental hygiene routine is complete without these two halves: your at-home routine and your routine cleanings at our office.
  • Untreated gum disease. If left untreated, this gum infection spreads deeper below the gums and could lead to a situation in which root canal treatment is necessary. 

There could be other reasons that lead you to need this procedure. Rest assured, the procedure itself is not painful and you will finally have relief from the pain you were experiencing. Better yet, we will be able to save your natural tooth!

To learn more, please call the University Palm Aire Plaza Sarasota office at 941-351-4468.