South Anchorage Dental Center

Can a Cavity Turn Into a Root Canal?

December 29, 2021
Can a Cavity Turn Into a Root Canal?

Routine dental appointments are essential to preventing cavities and other oral ailments. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends cleanings every six months to ensure your teeth and gums receive the maintenance they need to help prolong your health.

While standard tooth brushing is an important hygienic practice, it does not remove bacteria completely. Plaque can form from small food and drink particles that become stuck in spaces and crevices of your teeth. Dental tools chip away at plaque exceedingly better than by brushing or flossing alone.

It is important to continue with regular dental checkups to prevent issues from arising. Without proper cleanings, the bacterial remnants could create cavities. If cavities are left untreated for long periods of time, then a root canal procedure could be possible. There are, however, early symptoms to recognize before cavities advance into the root canal stage.

Concerned about a cavity? Come see us today to get it checked out.

Symptoms of Cavities

A cavity is a type of tooth decay that creates a hollow pocket within the internal layers of your tooth. This happens because bacteria damage and push through the tooth’s hard surface. Several factors, such as inadequate brushing could attribute to the formation of cavities.

Here are symptoms you could experience but are not limited to,

  • Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot, cold, sticky, or acidic substances
  • Mild to sharp pains when biting down
  • Throbbing pain
  • Surface staining on your teeth
  • Visible corrosion or pits on your teeth
  • Unnormal bad breath 

If you have any of these symptoms or feel significant discomfort or pain, schedule an appointment with us, your Anchorage dentist to address these concerns before they worsen.

Why Do Root Canals Happen?

The stagnant bacteria from an untreated cavity will eventually spread into the lower layers of your teeth.

These layers consist of,

Dentin: The middle layer of your tooth. This is the calcified tissue between the enamel and pulp that comprises much of the structure. Dentin is also extremely hard and denser than bone.

Pulp: The inner layer of your tooth. This layer creates the dentin and houses blood vessels and nerves. Pulp is often protected by the outer harder layers but can become exposed if your tooth has decay. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, inflammation, or infection.

When bacteria enter the pulp, pain and swelling may be apparent. If a root canal is needed, you also may experience symptoms such as,

  • Swelling of the gums such as abnormal lumps
  • Discoloration of the gums
  • Extreme sensitivity to hold, cold, or acidic food and drink

If you have noticed or felt any of the following aches or agitations, seeing a dentist to figure out the next steps would be the best solution.

The Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is when the dentist drills into the tooth to remove infected materials. The root canal area is then disinfected and cleaned to prevent further bacteria from entering.

Procedures are rather common, and especially here at South Anchorage Dental. This operation can last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, and anesthesia is required.

The aftereffects may cause discomfort or soreness in the days following.

Cavity Prevention and Oral Care

Aside from the biannual dental appointments, proper oral care at home can also help prevent future dental mishaps.

Be sure to,

  • Brush teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Brush thoroughly, at least 2 minutes per session
  • Use floss as often as possible
  • Brush after eating sweets or sticky substances that can remain stuck on the teeth

Your Alaskan Dentist

A daily dose of dental TLC can go a long way, but if you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, we are here to help! We offer a 24-hour dental emergency service for your convenience and care. 

If you are returning patient or in search of a trusting family dentist, we offer an excellent SADC dental savings plan where you can save upwards of 20% off treatments for your family.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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