A root canal is a common dental procedure that involves replacing decaying and infected dental pulp inside a tooth. After the diseased pulp has been extracted, the interior of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. According to the American Association of Endodontists, over 15 million root canals are done each year. The procedure is often thought to be very painful, but many people describe the discomfort they experience prior to a root canal as much worse.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
There are several situations that can make root canals a good option. A primary one is a tooth that becomes decayed due to a poor diet and inadequate dental hygiene. If you are hit in the mouth, sometimes impacted teeth begin to die and a root canal can be one of the options your dentist proposes. Some signs a root canal may be needed include tooth pain and sensitivity. Tooth discoloration, and swelling and irritation in the gums are also symptoms.
The best way to avoid a root cancel is to take good care of your teeth. This includes proper dental hygiene including daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental appointments. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding sugar will help prevent tooth decay. If you participate in contact sports, try to wear a mouth guard so your teeth do not get unnecessarily damaged.
Alternatives to a Root Canal
For many people getting a root canal is the best choice for treatment. If you have been diagnosed as needing a root canal but want to explore any potential alternative, herbal treatments may be worth considering. Plantain poultices, goldenseal powder and Echinacea are options that are recommended by some dental professionals. However, if the pain does not go away, it is advisable to get to a dentist for the root canal right away because waiting too long may make the situation worse—meaning it will be more costly and more difficult to fix.
No one wants to get a root canal and taking good care of your teeth is the best way to avoid the procedure.