A root canal is an endodontic treatment that is used to preserve a natural tooth. The procedure is frequently performed when an extraction is the only other treatment alternative. Thus, without the root canal application, the natural tooth would be lost.
There are multiple dental issues that a root canal can treat, including tooth infections, chronic dental sensitivity, and deep dental decay. During the treatment, the dentist removes the tooth's pulp, which contains the dental nerves and blood supply.
Although a patient may give little thought to the benefits of a root canal beyond the alleviation of tooth pain, the endodontic procedure can offer additional advantages as you age. Here are a few of them.
Reduce Spread of Oral Bacteria That Are Associated With Dementia
As a person grows older, their risk of age-related dementia may increase. Oral bacteria that are associated with dental infections have been found in the brain tissue of dementia patients. Thus, there may be a link between the development of dementia and the migration of the infection-causing bacteria.
The microbes of an infected tooth can move into the bloodstream unless the infection is resolved. A root canal procedure removes the infected pulp. Additionally, before filling the tooth, the dentist cleans and disinfects the hollowed chambers and canals.
Continued Stimulation to Maintain Jawbone Thickness
As the natural teeth are lost, the jawbone does not receive enough stimulation to maintain its girth. A root canal allows the natural tooth to remain in place. Thus, as the tooth incurs pressure from chewing and biting, the bite force is transferred to the bone of the jaw to stimulate the production of additional bone cells.
Nevertheless, if you choose to forego a root canal procedure and have the tooth extracted instead, the lack of stimulation at the extraction site can cause your jawbone to thin. As the bone shrinks, it provides less support to the soft tissues of the face, leading to a worn, haggard visage.
Continued Chewing Ability for Proper Nutrition
The gap left by a lost tooth can make chewing and biting more difficult. As a result, people with missing teeth may be less likely to eat a wide variety of foods, including those that are nutritionally dense. As a person ages, changes in appetite and activity levels can make it difficult to meet the nutritional demands of their body. Missing teeth can further exacerbate nutritional deficiencies. A root canal salvages the natural tooth to preserve your ability to chew. The roots of the treated tooth remain firmly attached to the jawbone.
For more information about root canals, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.