According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are three major misconceptions many people have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Take a look at these myths and truths behind this important treatment option.
Myth 1: Root canal treatment causes pain.
This commonly held perception predates modern dentistry. Patients who have actually experienced root canal therapy are 6 times more likely to describe the procedure as painless than those who have never had the treatment.
Truth 1: Root canal treatment relieves pain.
In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.
Myth 2: Root canal treatment causes further illness or infection in the body.
This unfortunate belief stems from a long-discredited report from nearly 100 years ago that still turns up during internet searches. This report by Dr. Weston Price was highly criticized in its own time for the sub-standard research methods he used, and his conclusions were being debunked as early as the 1930s.
Truth 2: There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that suggests root canal treatment may cause other illness or infection in the body.
In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less trauma to the patient. Recent research has also found that patients who have had multiple root canal treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.
Myth 3: Tooth extraction is always a better option than root canal treatment.
There is no perfect replacement for a natural tooth. Even the best tooth replacement options may leave you needing to avoid certain foods. Additionally, missing teeth can lead to jaw bone resorption over time, adding further complication to oral health care.
Truth 3: Saving natural teeth, when possible, is the best option for overall health.
By saving the natural tooth, patients avoid the need for further, more costly restoration treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.
Whenever possible, your doctor should make every effort to preserve your natural teeth. If you are advised to have an extraction, ask if root canal treatment is an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral to an endodontist if you want a second opinion. Endodontists have at least 2 years of specialized training in tooth preservation, in addition to their dental degree.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Roselle dental office.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health. Always let us know if you are taking any medicines or supplements and if those have changed since your last visit.
Here are some common side effects of medications that can impact your oral health:
Blood thinning and reduced clotting accompany the use of some medications. This can cause problems with excessive bleeding during treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. Your dentist needs to know if you are taking any medications or supplements before scheduling any treatment that may involve bleeding.
Many medications can cause reduced saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.
Oral Candidiasis is an oral fungal infection that can affect those who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler.
Gum Tissue Enlargement
Overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. Patients with this condition need to give special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation or decay.
Soft Tissue Reactions
Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of some medications. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen that can alleviate your discomfort.
While tooth decay is not directly a side effect of medication, several types of medicines use sugar to improve the flavor, especially those in liquid, chewable, and lozenge forms. When these are taken over a period of time, the sugars left on the teeth can make the patient more likely to develop tooth decay. When possible, select sugar-free versions of medications, take with meals, or rinse your mouth after taking a sugared medicine.
Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, and can even lead to tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, contact your Roselle dentist immediately.
According to a 2014 report by the American Association of Endodontists, 54 percent of people surveyed said, “root canals make them apprehensive.” Our team understands that many patients feel nervous prior to treatment. However, root canal treatment can greatly improve your oral health and comfort. Here are some of the advantages to undergoing root canal therapy.
The toothache will go away
Have you been suffering with a toothache due to infected roots? Root canal therapy can help eliminate discomfort and pain. Root canal therapy will allow you to live your life comfortably without the need for painkilling medication.
Therapy can save a tooth
Root canal therapy can save a tooth that is badly damaged from infection that would otherwise need to be extracted. It can also improve the appearance of your smile because a crown is placed on top of the tooth, offering a healthy and attractive appearance. Our team may be able to help you retain your natural teeth through root canal therapy.
Prevent the spread of infection
During treatment, the entire area surrounding the infected tooth is cleaned. This can prevent the spread of the infection. Ignoring an infection can cause bacteria to spread to healthy teeth and your gums. By limiting the spread of infection, you will save yourself time and money from having to deal with additional and costly dental work.
Our team is experienced
Root canal therapy is a similar experience to having a filling placed. Our team is experienced in performing root canals and have undergone specialized training to do so. Your comfort and safety always come first in our office.
Root canal therapy can improve the quality of your life by limiting the spread of infection, saving your natural teeth, and reducing recurring toothaches. Prior to treatment, our team will answer any questions you might have about the procedure.
Brushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?
The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.
Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.
Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy.
Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:
- All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
- Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
- The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.
Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy.
You may be unaware of how your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health. The warning signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can often be found by during a routine examination at our dental office. You may be surprised to find out that hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be linked to your oral health habits.
A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a link between oral hygiene and high blood pressure, based on the results of almost 20,000 adults surveyed in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). It was found that individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing of teeth, were more likely to suffer from hypertension. Individuals that brushed their teeth more than once daily and also utilized other oral health products such as floss or mouthwash were less likely to suffer from hypertension. The study concluded that maintaining good oral hygiene habits may help prevent or control high blood pressure.
Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy life and regular dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health. Contact our Roselle office to schedule your appointment for an examination and cleaning.
No time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Cheese provides several benefits for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth.
Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions.
Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh.
Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease.
Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay.
It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointments with our Roselle dentist.