Root canal treatments are typically performed to save teeth so they do not need to be pulled, and they are scheduled soon after your dentist discovers a major issue with one of your teeth. Some people are scared of root canals though, and they put off the treatments for some time. If you want to know why this is a bad idea, then keep reading to learn about some problems that can occur if a root canal is not performed.
Teeth will typically die when bacteria force their way inside a tooth and destroy the living tissues in the pulp chamber. The dead tissues will remain in the pulp chamber along with the bacteria until there are forcibly removed. If they are not removed fairly quickly, some of the bacteria and pus will move down through the small holes of the tooth roots. The bacteria can then infect your jaw as well as the gum tissues that sit around the tooth. Bone infections are extremely serious and often require complete tooth extraction before treatment can be administered.
Root canals prevent advanced infections by releasing the pulp and the infectious fluids before they have a chance to migrate outside the tooth. Along with the root canal treatment, medications are provided to help heal any infections that have already started. Antibiotics are placed inside the pulp chamber and you will be asked to take oral antibiotics. If a gum abscess has been detected, then you may need an antibacterial rinse too. All of these things work in conjunction with one another to make sure that more serious infections cannot continue or start if the tooth problem is more contained.
When a tooth dies, the external enamel as well as the internal dentin becomes more brittle. This has to do with the natural dehydration of the tooth that occurs once the pulp dies. This means that cracks are likely to form in the teeth. Even a microcrack or a pinhole can leave an opening for bacteria to start degrading the tooth. When bacteria start to multiply, deep cavities develop.
Since the tooth is already brittle, large cracks and breaks are likely once a cavity forms. A big piece of the cusp or biting edge can then break off the tooth. If the damage is too extensive, then the tooth may need to be pulled.
Root canal treatment is used to prevent this sort of issue by strengthening the tooth. The pulp chamber is filled with a gutta percha compound. This solidifies the space to make the tooth more resilient. A crown will often be placed over the tooth as well to add strength. For more information, contact a specialist like Martin S. Spiller DMD.