How does a root canal become infected?

children’s root canal Fort WorthA root canal is a procedure where the soft interior of the roots of a tooth are removed due to a breach in the tooth or infection. A tooth that has been severely damaged due to decay or a break in the tooth itself can lead to bacteria invading the tooth. This can occur in patients of all ages; a children’s root canal specialist may be consulted if symptoms are present in a child.

If your kid’s dentist has recommended a root canal to salvage your child’s tooth, the procedure is completed; and based on which tooth was involved, the opening that allowed treatment to be done is sealed in one of two ways.

If no obvious infection was noted, the root canal is cleaned out removing the nerve and pulp tissue, and the access point is sealed with either a tooth colored material known as composite resin or a larger restoration like a crown may be needed (usually if the tooth is cracked or broken, the procedure will be completed with a crown to prevent further problems).

If there was an undetected crack in the root of the tooth, or the restoration placed to seal the access point for the root canal is improperly placed or defective, the patient may experience the need for retreatment due to infection. Bacteria may permeate the tooth resulting in infection.

The clues that the root canal may be infected may not be as obvious as the original problem. While chewing pain and sensitivity to heat and cold signaled a problem with the tooth originally, an infected root canal can occur without obvious signs present. The patient is aware that the nerve was removed, so pain may not be present.

If a root canal becomes infected, the dentist may see a fistula. This is infected matter that has burrowed to the surface, and can be immediately spotted if present after a children’s root canal procedure. Another possible cause for infection is that the tooth involved may have had more roots than anticipated. This is why a dental x-ray is taken to try to identify all roots. But if all of a tooth’s roots are not treated, this can lead to infection following the procedure.

The root canal procedure has a very high success rate. To learn more or to schedule your child’s appointment, contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at 817-569-6633 today.

Tooth Pain and Poor School Performance: Is there a connection?

kid’s dentist Fort WorthIf you ever tried to focus on something, but you were dealing with pain at the same time, the pain can become the priority. Reading a book, watching a movie, or trying to do homework can be overshadowed if the discomfort that accompanies a toothache is present. Your kid’s dentist should be consulted immediately if your child experiences tooth pain.

You don’t have to be a scientist to understand the correlation between concentration and pain. If you stub your toe, that pain is front and center in your brain until it subsides. But a toothache is often a pain that does not stop – it is often an ongoing, throbbing sensation that interferes with everything you do.

As with most problems, prevention triumphs over resolution. There are many steps that can be taken to keep tooth pain from occurring:

  1. Take your child to the kid’s dentist around the age of twelve months. The advantages of early visits are numerous. The child becomes familiar with the surrounding sounds and smells, and builds a trust with the family dental provider. If your child’s first visit to the kid’s dentist is to deal with tooth pain, future visits are jeopardized.
  2. Teach your child about oral hygiene. Demonstrate the importance of daily flossing and brushing by allowing your child to watch your hygiene regimen. Discuss the importance of taking care of their teeth, and supervise them to make sure they’re doing everything consistently and correctly.
  3. Before dental decay can occur, have your child protected with dental sealants. A sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth not impacted by decay. The sealant will protect teeth but they can dislodge or wear away making consistent dental visits even more important.
  4. Make sure your child sees their kid’s dentist every six months. Plaque build-up will be removed that could lead to cavities or gum problems. The exam provided by the dentist will point out any areas of concern.
  5. Make sure your child limits (or better yet avoids) consuming sugary snacks and beverages. The sugar in foods and drinks clings to bacteria on teeth, and hardens to form plaque.

If your child speaks about tooth pain, don’t wait to see if it goes away. Take action to prevent a small issue from escalating to a big one.