When it comes to your teeth, your main objective may be to keep them in your mouth. Many people lose teeth as they age. However, it is possible to keep your natural teeth throughout your lifetime. Still, there are times that dental issues may arise and threaten the loss of a tooth. Here are a few dental applications that your dentist may offer to help lessen the chance of tooth loss.
Root Canal Therapy
When some people think of a root canal procedure, images of pain and discomfort fill their minds. However, nowadays, a root canal procedure is virtually painless. Additionally, it may be the only way to salvage a tooth. A root canal procedure is often necessary when the nerves of a tooth become severely inflamed, typically from a dental infection. A tooth infection can occur because of severe decay or dental trauma. A breach in the protective outer layers of a tooth can allow bacteria to invade it, resulting in an infection.
As the infection forms in the central layer of the tooth, which is called the pulp, the soft tissues of the pulp swell, placing pressure on sensitive dental nerves. People who suffer from a dental infection may experience unrelenting tooth pain and dental sensitivity, making eating and speaking difficult. When the dental nerves are damaged beyond repair, the patient has two primary options to relieve the discomfort: a root canal procedure or a dental extraction. If a person wants to preserve their natural tooth, a root canal procedure is the best option.
During a root canal procedure, the infected pulp, which includes the inflamed nerves, is removed from the tooth. The tooth is then cleaned, filled, and capped.
Root Planing and Scaling
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. The condition occurs as oral acids inflame the gingival tissues. In the initial stages, gum disease may only cause minor issues, such as gum bleeding as you brush or floss. However, as the condition progresses, more serious symptoms, such as gum recession and loose teeth, may occur.
As gum disease becomes severe, pockets or spaces develop between the teeth and the gums. These spaces can quickly become filled with plaque and tartar, exacerbating the condition. The bacteria within the plaque and tartar may spread to the bone of the jaw, causing an infection that shrinks the jawbone.
A root planing and scaling procedure can be performed to remove the tartar that is below the gum line and smooth the surfaces of the dental roots to facilitate healing. If you have oral health concerns that could cause tooth loss, schedule an appointment with a dental office like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics.