Proper care of the teeth involves cultivating good oral hygiene habits (regular brushing and flossing), regular dental checkups, cleanings, and examinations. Taking adequate care of the teeth ensures that all the parts of the teeth are in good condition and can carry out their functions effectively. If we fail to observe any of these, the teeth accumulate bacteria and other organisms, leading to dental infections and diseases. These infections may spread beyond the surface of the teeth, infecting other vital parts of the teeth, such as the tooth pulp, thereby leading to a root canal infection.
A root canal treatment, professionally known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that tries to repair a damaged tooth by removing an infected tooth pulp to avoid extraction. While many people refer to a root canal as a treatment procedure, it is not. A root canal houses the tooth pulp. When the tooth pulp becomes infected, the root canal is cleaned out thoroughly to remove the infection, hence the treatment name – root canal. The tooth pulp is responsible for the moisture and nourishment of the teeth. However, improper care of the teeth causes damage to the tooth pulp from cavities, injuries, decay, and fracture.
How Do You Know You Have An Infected Root Canal?
The following are the symptoms of an infected root canal:
- Tooth abscess.
- Discoloration of the teeth.
- Sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold temperatures.
- Intense pain while chewing.
- Dental cavities.
- Swelling of the gums.
- Severe toothache.
Root Canal Procedure
A general dentist or an endodontist performs a root canal procedure. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental pulp injuries or diseases of the tooth nerve. At Family Dental Care, a dentist has to confirm that your tooth pulp is infected and assess the damage done before you get root canal care. They do this with the aid of a dental x-ray.
Before a root canal procedure begins, necessary safety measures, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to make the process a painless one. Then a dental dam (a dental protective device) is out inside your mouth. This device keeps your mouth clean, protected, and free from saliva to make the procedure easier. Then your dentist drills access through the crown into the tooth. With the aid of small dental instruments, the bacteria, pulp, and decayed nerve tissues are removed, and the pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned out.
The root canal is cleaned and disinfected with water and antibacterial solutions. Once your tooth is thoroughly cleaned, the root canal is filled with a sealer paste and gutta-percha (a rubber compound). The hole used to access the interior of your tooth is then filled with dental fillings. After a root canal procedure, the affected tooth is restored with a dental crown.
Can I Eat A Burger After A Root Canal?
While eating after a root canal procedure is not forbidden, you must be careful of the kinds of food you eat not to disrupt your recovery process. A burger with a thick layer of meat is likely to damage the recovering tooth because it requires heavy chewing. To give your tooth time to heal, it is best to avoid chewy food.
Can I Eat Hard Things After A Root Canal?
No, you cannot eat hard things after a root canal. Hard and crunchy foods like chips, nuts, etc., might crack the fillings used to seal your tooth. That might lead to food getting inside the treated tooth, causing more infection, pain, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. It would help if you only opted for soft foods after a root canal procedure.
How Long Do I Have To Wait Before Eating Solid Food After A Root Canal?
Generally, before you can eat solid foods, you have to wait for your dental fillings to harden. That takes about 30 to 45 minutes. However, it is advisable to wait until the numbness of anesthesia wears off before attempting to consume solid foods in small portions.