It’s that scary word again–root canal. If the idea of a root canal makes you nervous, you’re not the only one! There are plenty of people out there who have a misconception of what a root canal is. Many people don’t even know why you’d need one!
What a Root Canal Does
The first step to overcoming a fear is to learn about the thing you’re afraid of.
Root canals are a treatment intended for pain relief. Not what you were expecting, right? Well, root canals treat tooth infections that have spread into the root canal of a tooth. When a tooth infection has spread that far, it becomes very painful.
A root canal can remove the infection, which will bring pain relief almost instantly.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared of Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is used to treat tooth infections. These infections can become quite painful and not just when you’re chewing. They can last all day and into the night, affecting your sleep, your mood, and your diet.
Getting a root canal can give you:
- Instant Relief: Root canal therapy removes the inflamed tissues. Without those infected blood vessels, your pain will disappear, sometimes immediately!
- Restored Function: No more hesitantly biting into food or only chewing on one side of your mouth. After a root canal, you’ll be able to eat normally again.
- Renewed Tooth Life: A tooth infection can be detrimental to the life of your tooth, but a root canal treatment can buy your tooth many more years.
Root Canal Pain Management
In a root canal appointment, your dentist will provide you with the necessary anesthetic to keep you comfortable. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure. You may be a little sore for the day or two following the procedure, but most patients report immediate pain relief.
If you do experience discomfort during or after your treatment, let your dentist know! They’ll either make adjustments or give you advice on how to manage your pain.
Toothaches Are a Real Pain
Waiting for a root canal appointment can also be tough–you still have to deal with the toothache! Here are some tips for getting through the days before your appointment:
- Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication according to package directions.
- Sleep with an extra pillow to lessen the blood flow to your face while you sleep.
- Use an ice pack throughout the day for 15 minutes at a time.
How To Protect Your Teeth From Infection
- Brush your teeth 2x a day. Brushing your teeth cleans the bacteria and food remnants off your teeth, giving you better-smelling breath and a lower risk of tooth infection.
- Be gentle as you brush! Brushing too hard against your gums can open them up, allowing bacteria to enter beneath your gums.
- Floss once a day. Flossing keeps your gums clean and reaches those crevices on either side of your teeth that are hard for a toothbrush to reach.
- Use a dentist-approved mouthwash. If you want to go the extra mile to defend against a tooth infection, mouthwash is a great habit to add to your routine.
- Wear a mouth guard during sports. One way bacteria enters a tooth is through cracks or breaks from impacts to the face. Protect your teeth with a mouth guard!
- Schedule a dental cleaning every six months. Professional cleanings rid your mouth of bacteria and plaque so you can have a clean, healthy, infection-free mouth.
Have a Toothache?
McCullough Dental is here to help Bakersfield have healthy, happy smiles. Don’t let fear of a root canal procedure keep you from taking care of your toothache. Call us today for tooth pain relief!