There is a range of issues that can lead to root canal infections, so it would be impossible to narrow it down to a single cause. There is also a range of ways that these issues can be caused but maintaining a high standard of dental hygiene is a good place to start. Often, one of the most common causes of root canal issues is if tooth decay has been left untreated. This can lead to the situation worsening and damaging large parts of the tooth, leaving the pulp cavity and root canal susceptible to infection. Tooth decay is completely preventable too, by brushing your teeth properly and using floss, you're able to remove plaque build-up from your teeth and prevent decay. You can also receive fillings if the decay has already damaged your tooth, this will reduce the chance of the damaged area leading to serious infection.
Cracked teeth are another serious issue that can lead to root canal infections or damage. Teeth can become cracked due to a number of things, including sports injuries, biting too hard, grinding your teeth or accidents. This can also create different types of cracks, such as one main crack or multiple smaller ones. Both of these types of cracks can cause serious damage and will need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent the situation from worsening. If you have smaller cracks in your teeth it may be difficult to see and they're often not very visible. However, one key way to tell is if you feel discomfort, especially when eating or when subject to cold or hot temperatures.
A cracked tooth can leave the tooth susceptible to infection due to the inner tooth being exposed. It can also cause other issues as a result of the crack, such as blood vessels or soft tissue becoming damaged. This will require a dental procedure to be fixed, however, if it's left for too long it can lead to tooth loss. Depending on the severity of the crack and whether or not the pulp inside the tooth is damaged, you may need a root canal procedure. This can lead to your tooth being saved, though, as the procedure will ensure any damaged tissue won't get infected, the crack will then be filled to improve the structure of the tooth. Depending on the severity of the crack, you may be required to have a crown fitted to prevent a crack from occurring again.
If you've previously had a crack or severe tooth decay and had a filling, there is potential that this could become infected if it cracks or becomes loose. This is due to a previously damaged part of the tooth becoming exposed, giving bacteria the chance to target the root canal area. An injury could also cause this, if you've been hit during sports or by accident, this could potentially loosen the filling or damage the tooth directly. This could lead to nerve tissue becoming damaged which would cause severe pain and result in infected tooth pulp which will need to be extracted. If you've had multiple treatments on a single tooth, this could also increase the chance of the tooth becoming infected.
If there has been an issue with your tooth and you were looking to receive dental treatment but weren't able to receive any in a quick enough time, you may need to have your tooth removed. Although we'll do our best to preserve your tooth, if it does need to be removed, we can complete this procedure at our facility. We can also fit dental implants to replace the tooth which has been extracted, to ensure you don't have to contend with a missing tooth. Dental implants are a great option for repairing your smile if you're missing a tooth. This is especially the case if you've had a painful or unhealthy tooth as it can be replaced with an artificial tooth that won't cause your pain and will still be able to perform the job it needs to. There is also the likelihood that the tooth has been damaged or is dead, leading to loss of the white colour, which means that when it's replaced with an implant that you can enjoy a whiter colour.
You may also be wondering what happens if you get an infection in your root canal. One of the key indicators will be pain as it will likely make eating difficult, especially when chewing solid foods. Swelling will also occur which could also hinder eating and brushing your teeth too. This can be dangerous, however, as you may be reluctant to brush your teeth properly, which will allow more bacteria to gather. This will lead to the situation worsening and if you haven't got it already, could lead to gum disease. Gingivitis is also a cause of root canal infections, so this would only worsen the situation and increase the chance of tooth loss.
If you suspect you may have a root canal infection, it's important that you look out for any of the signs which may reveal the issue and also ensure you act when you can. If you're unsure, you should seek a checkup anyway, as there are cases when you may not know about the issue until it worsens. This improves your chance of catching the infection early on, which could save your nerves and surrounding tissue before they become damaged. The infection can also spread, given time, so the sooner you catch it, the less intensive the root canal surgery will be, as there is less infected tissue to remove.
At Dental Excellence, we pride ourselves on being able to offer solutions to dental issues, leading to your life being changed for the better. Even if the issue is serious, such as a root canal infection or a decaying tooth that needs removing, we can help and provide treatment that will repair your smile. Our expertise and incredible technology which is available to us at our state of the art facility is what allows us to carry out these life-changing procedures to a range of clients.