Our goal is to save your natural teeth so that you can keep them for as long as possible. This not only benefits you functionally but aesthetically as well. Keeping your smile intact means your smile stays natural, so you can still eat all your favorite foods, instead of having food restrictions, especially after having certain dental restorations to replace missing teeth. In addition, your natural teeth keep your bone material in place, which means you don’t end up with a sunken facial profile as bone structure is lost from missing teeth.
Why might you require a root canal? Well, let’s take a look at what makes up a tooth. You have the visible part of your tooth, the enamel, and then below that, the dentin layer (calcified tissue). Underneath the dentin lies the pulp chamber, the most important part of the tooth because it’s where the connective tissue, living blood cells, and bigger nerves reside. As you can imagine, this pulp layer is soft. But pulp also branches out, going through every root and into the tooth’s canals. Did you know there can be up to 52 different pulp organs? To break it down, 32 of these are in your adult teeth while 20 are in your baby teeth. Of course, the primary tooth pulp is lost when they fall out.
Let’s take a moment to look at what the pulp in your teeth does. Its main work is creating dentin to support the outer enamel layer. Dentin is vulnerable if it gets exposed because the enamel or surrounding gum tissue deteriorates. Since the dentin is sensitive and stimulates the nerves in the tooth, you might experience pain or discomfort when consuming ice cream or a steaming mug of coffee with their temperature extremes. Now, if a tooth experiences some kind of injury or trauma, the pulp forms additional dentin, or secondary dentin, which is also called reparative dentin. The blood vessels in the pulp are what keep the blood flowing to the tooth and nourishing it.
If the pulp becomes inflamed from tooth decay or injury, it might be in trouble. If the inflammation is minor, we might be able to reverse it. If the inflammation is acute, the pulp may die. If the pulp is infected at the root, you will definitely know it because it will be painful. But the pain is a good thing because it alerts you to get it treated as soon as possible. The infection in an abscessed tooth can spread into the jaw, your sinuses, and the brain if it is left unchecked. So please don’t ignore pain when it comes to your teeth.
Be sure to see our team if you have experienced a recent injury to your teeth or you have pain or consistent discomfort in your mouth. We’ll be sure to examine the roots of your teeth for any signs of damage or decay and give you the treatment you need to get rid of soreness and any aches. Then you can get back to eating and speaking without these distractions. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll be happy to help!