Endodontic treatment to save teeth

When the inside of a tooth becomes decayed, infected, or is injured, the tooth can often be saved with endodontic treatment. Endodontic treatment refers to procedures used to treat the inside (endo) of the tooth (odont). This is where the pulp, the part of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels, is located. The pulp is normally protected by the dentin and the enamel (the outer layer) of the tooth. When pulp becomes inflamed, abscess or pain can result. Often patients who have a tooth requiring endodontic treatment will notice discomfort in the tooth when they chew or brush in the area. The tooth may exhibit sensitivity to heat or cold, and sometimes swelling may be noticed. Endodontic treatment can often save teeth. During the procedure the affected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned, filled, and sealed. Sometimes a crown will be placed to allow the tooth to function as it did when it was healthy. Anesthesia will be used to minimize any discomfort during the procedure, and over-thecounter pain medicines can usually relieve any sensitivity that may occur over the next few days. In addition, an antibiotic may be prescribed.

Cavities are for everybody

Got teeth? If you have teeth, you are in danger of developing tooth decay. Although many people associate cavities only with children, the truth is that many adults develop cavities as well. Adults are more susceptible to certain types of cavities because of changes that occur in the mouth as they age. For instance, gum recession can raise the chances that cavities will appear on the roots of the teeth. Cavities located around the edges of restorations are another type that often develops in adults. Those whose teeth were not treated with fluoride in their youth are more likely to have restorations that are weakening, leaving them more susceptible to decay. Regular dental checkups are the only way to spot decay before it has advanced. A dentist can detect decay using probes and X-rays long before a patient feels the discomfort associated with a cavity, and when decay is caught early, the tooth can often be restored. It’s a myth that adults can mature out of developing cavities, but good homecare coupled with regular dental checkups can help keep teeth healthier and hopefully cavity-free long into the future.

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