Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (soft tissue
inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue)
becomes inflamed or diseased. During root canal treatment, your dentist or
endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth)
removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are
then cleaned and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling
can result, and your tooth may have to be removed.
Causes of an infected pulp could include:
•a deep cavity
•repeated dental procedures
•a cracked or broken tooth
•injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or
you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a
lifetime. However, regular checkups are necessary; a tooth without its nerve
can still develop cavities or gum disease. Most of the time, a root canal
is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to
three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.
foods such as candy (especially hard or sticky candies like lollipops, mints,
taffy and caramel), sweets like cookies, cakes and muffins, and snack foods
like chips are a cause for dental concern, not only because they offer no
nutritional value, but because the amount and type of sugar that they contain
that can adhere to teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off these sugars,
releasing acids, and that’s what leads to tooth decay.
Sugar-containing drinks—soda, lemonade, juice and sweetened coffee or tea (iced
or hot)—are particularly harmful because sipping them causes a constant sugar
bath over teeth, which promotes tooth decay. Learn more about the potentially
harmful oral health effects of drinking acidic and sugary drinks here from
Dental Association's Drinks Destroy Teeth. Nutritious, acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits can have acidic
effects on tooth enamel, too, so eat them as part of a meal, not by themselves.
Dried fruits, including raisins, are also good choices for a healthy diet, but
since they are sticky and adhere to teeth, the plaque acids that they produce
continue to harm teeth long after you stop eating them. Opt for a piece of
fresh fruit instead.
Foods That May Benefit Dental Health
plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds, are foods that
may benefit tooth health thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other
nutrients they provide. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and
eggs are the best sources of phosphorus. Both of these minerals play a critical
role in dental health, by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel. Fruits and
vegetables are good choices for a healthy smile since they are high in water
and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth.
These foods also help stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids
and food particles away from teeth and helps neutralize acid, protecting teeth
from decay. Plus, many contain vitamin C (important for healthy gums and quick
healing of wounds) and vitamin A (another key nutrient in building tooth
enamel). Hands down,
water—particularly fluoridated water—is the most tooth-friendly beverage. Above article from
X-rays remain a valuable tool in detecting oral health problems
A study published in
Cancer, the peer-viewed journal of the American Cancer Society, found that
people diagnosed with meningioma, a generally non-cancerous tumor, are more
likely to report that they’ve received certain types of dental X-rays in the
There are several important things to understand about this
This finding doesn’t mean that
dental X-rays cause these tumors; much more research is needed.
The results rely on the
individuals’ memories of having dental X-rays taken years earlier. The
ability to recall information is often imperfect. Therefore, the results
of studies that use this design can be unreliable because they are
affected by what scientists call “recall bias.”
The study acknowledges that
some of the subjects received dental X-rays decades ago when radiation
exposure was greater. Radiation doses were higher in the past due to the
use of old X-ray technology and slower speed film.
The American Dental
Association's long-standing position is that dentists should order dental
X-rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Since
1989, the ADA has published recommendations to help dentists ensure that
radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable. As precautions against
radiation, ADA encourages the use of abdominal shielding (e.g., protective
aprons) and thyroid collars on all patients. In addition, the ADA recommends
that dentists use E or F speed film, the two fastest film speeds available, or
a digital X -ray.
Dental X-rays are a
valuable part of detecting oral health problems at an early stage. Many oral
diseases can’t be detected with a physical examination alone. Dental X-rays
help provide information about a patient’s oral health such as early-stage
cavities, gum diseases, infections and some types of tumors.
How often dental
X-rays should be taken depends on the patient’s oral health condition, age,
risk for disease and any signs and symptoms of oral disease that the patient
might be experiencing. If you have concerns the ADA encourages you to talk to
your dentist, but eliminating X-rays altogether could be detrimental to your