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Teeth are strong, with a thin but tough outer layer of enamel. In fact, this translucent, mineralized substance is the hardest tissue in your body. Still, your pearly whites are vulnerable to decay and injury.

This is why our Kevin J. Reece, DDS team in Payson, Utah, recommend daily diligent brushing and flossing, along with regular professional dental cleanings to keep them healthy, and wearing an athletic mouthguard to protect them from injury during contact sports and recreation.

So how is it that a tooth may need root canal therapy? A tooth can become infected, whether from a cavity that has gone too deep, or a crack or fracture that allows the pulp to become infected. You see, beneath the tough exterior of tooth enamel is the dentin, and beneath that is the tooth pulp. The pulp houses the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.

If an infected tooth is not treated properly, you can experience the death of the pulp, loss of bone, and eventually the loss of the tooth.

Following are some common questions people have regarding root canal therapy:

Is it painful? A root canal is done to relieve pain, and with the use of modern tools and anesthesia, it is not a painful procedure.

What are some signs that I may have an infected tooth? You may have a hole in the tooth, tooth pain, toothache, swelling gums, sensitivity to temperatures, and even swelling in your face or neck.

What causes a tooth to require a root canal? The most common causes of an infected or inflamed tooth pulp are from deep decay in the tooth, if a tooth has undergone repeated dental procedures, and cracking, chipping, or root fracture.

Root canals are done to relieve pain and to save a tooth. Whenever possible, it is preferable to keep a tooth rather than replace it. You want to make sure that there are no gaps in your smile because this allows the surrounding teeth to shift which then can misalign the bite.

At the dental practice of Dr. Kevin J. Reece serving patients in Payson, Utah, we look forward to helping you save your smile with a root canal treatment. Please call us at 801-465-4474 if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a visit with our team.