How Root Canal Infections Can Lead to Tooth Loss By Jose Valenzuela on July 20, 2017

A serious cavity affecting a toothPatients often come to our practice in Los Algodones when they need advanced treatment for tooth loss and other serious dental wellness issues. For missing teeth, many people can benefit from implant dentistry. Dental implants can support crowns, bridges, and dentures, offering a level of stability comparable to natural tooth roots.

While many people lose teeth because of severe decay and trauma to the mouth, it's also possible for people to experience tooth loss because of root canal infections. Let's take a moment the link between root canal infections and tooth loss.

What Is a Root Canal Infection?

Inside of every tooth there is a chamber filled with soft tissue. This soft tissue is known as dental pulp. The dental pulp is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that were essential for the initial formation and maturation of a tooth.

A root canal infection occurs when oral bacteria breeches the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth. This is the same bacteria responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Root canal infections can be quite painful, and need to be treated as soon as possible.

Causes of Root Canal Infections

Advanced tooth decay is the most common cause of root canal infections. Tooth fractures can also result in oral bacteria accessing the inner pulp of a tooth. Gum disease and recession can contribute to root canal infections as well.

Tooth Loss and Root Canal Infections

With root canal infections, there are a few common reasons why a tooth may fall out or require extraction.

  • Oral Abscess – An abscess is an accumulation of pus that can be quite painful. If the abscess ruptures, it can lead to a severe infection. Teeth may fall out due to advanced decay and infection, or may be removed as part of the treatment of the abscess.

  • Bone Loss – When a root canal infection is untreated for a long time, it can result in bone loss around the affected tooth. This can cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.

  • Spread of Infection – If the infection spreads from the tooth to other parts of the mouth, it can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and eventual tooth loss. Extraction may be recommended in order to prevent the spread of the infection.

What Happens After My Tooth Is Extracted or Lost?

If treating a root canal infection causes tooth loss or the treatment of an infection requires a tooth to be extracted, there are a number of restorative options to consider. A dental bridge is commonly used to replace a missing tooth or a few missing teeth. In some cases, patients may want to consider a dental implant to support a crown or a bridge.

Can an Infected Tooth Be Saved from Extraction?

Yes. If there is still enough healthy tooth structure remaining, an infected tooth can be saved from extraction. This is done through a process known as endodontic therapy. The procedure involves the removal of the diseased dental pulp, cleaning and filling of the pulp chamber, and capping the treated tooth with a dental crown.

Learn More About Advanced Dental Care Treatments

If you would like more information about root canal treatments and how we can help you smile with renewed health, contact our advanced dental care center today. Our team will assess your situation and determine the ideal treatment to improve your dental wellness.

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Dr. Valenzuela

Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry Center

The Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry Center in Los Algodones offers patients in the Southern California and Western Arizona area state-of-the-art dental work at our modern, inviting, and comfortable dental office. Dr. Valenzuela is a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry

Contact us online or call (928) 792-2156 to schedule an appointment today.

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