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What is a root canal, and will you ever need to have one done? A root canal infection is the deep decay of nerve and pulp tissue in the center cavity of the tooth. Having a root canal performed is the extraction of the infected nerve and pulp from the root canal, which prevents the tooth from further damage leading to the loss of the tooth.

If this sounds a little scary, there are definitely things you can do to avoid a root canal in your near future. Since the leading cause of root canal infection is tooth decay, there are some simple but effective prevention measures you can take.

Good oral hygiene is number one in keeping root canal infections at bay! This can include:

Brushing—using a toothbrush that is not too harsh on the gum tissue and using circular brushing motions, getting to all tooth surfaces, and shooting for two times a day goes a long way in protecting your pearly whites.

Flossing—this can be done in the form of a wax string flosser you can use in between your teeth after eating food, or using a water flosser than cleans between the hard to reach molars to rinse bacteria and food particles away.

Fluoride mouth wash—fluoride makes your teeth resistant to bacterial acid, and can help restore tooth enamel.

Diet—a diet high in sugar or starches increases bacterial acids that erode your teeth

Dental cleanings—visit your dentist faithfully! Regular dental cleanings removing tartar will preserve your precious pearly whites.

Trauma—if you suffer a tooth injury you can seriously damage the tooth and its center. This can be prevented if you are active in sports by wearing a protective mouth guard, but can also include tooth fractures and chips which can happen during eating, such as hard candy, or even teeth grinding! Make sure you catch fractures and chips early on by seeing your dentist regularly.

Sensible precautions and good oral care go a long way in keeping your teeth strong and healthy. Please call or visit our office if you have any questions or concerns at 214.824.2130.