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Root Canal Realities: The Dangers of Delayed Treatment

January 19, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — riverplace @ 5:10 pm
A man holding his jaw due to a delayed root canal

Facing the prospect of a root canal can be daunting, leading some patients to delay the treatment. However, putting off a root canal can have serious consequences and affect far more than your oral health.

If you want to learn more about the importance of timely root canal treatment, continue reading. You’ll see the reality of what happens when you choose to postpone your treatment.

1. Escalating Pain and Discomfort

One of the initial signs that a root canal may be needed is persistent tooth pain. Ignoring or delaying treatment allows the underlying issue, often an infected or damaged pulp, to worsen. As a result, the pain can intensify, leading to discomfort that may become increasingly difficult to manage. 

2. A Spreading Infection

A root canal is typically recommended to address infection or inflammation within the tooth’s pulp. Delaying treatment allows the infection to spread to surrounding tissues, potentially affecting the gums, neighboring teeth, and even the jawbone. This creeping infection can lead to more extensive dental issues and complications. 

3. Infection Leads to Dental Abscess

One of the most serious complications that can arise from an infected tooth is a dental abscess. Abscesses are pockets of bacterial pus that develop around the tooth’s root. They can cause severe pain, swelling, and even lead to systemic health issues if left untreated. The best way to prevent abscess formation is with a root canal treatment. 

4. Damage to Adjacent Teeth and Tooth Loss

The prolonged delay of a root canal increases your risk of tooth loss. In severe cases, the damage may become irreversible, necessitating an extraction. Losing a natural tooth can have a domino effect on other neighboring teeth as well. After a tooth is extracted, the bone beneath it can start to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation. As the bone weakens, the adjoining teeth may also weaken.

5. Systemic Health Problems

Oral infections, when left untreated, can cause systemic health concerns. The bacteria from an infected tooth can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body. This is why poor oral health has been linked to multiple conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

The reality of putting off a root canal is far more serious than it initially appears. Even if you can take the pain, your body may not resist as easily. The series of unpleasant outcomes above can be avoided with treatment from your dentist. Schedule an appointment today to address the underlying issues, prevent complications, and preserve the health of your smile.

About the Author

Dr. Megan McInnis is a bright and skillful dental professional who enjoys treating her patients with care and respect. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry and has since then kept herself up to date on the latest advances in dental knowledge and technology through professional organizations. If you’re in pain, she can help you with a root canal or other treatment. Call (503) 761-1414 to schedule a root canal appointment at RiverPlace Dental or visit the website to browse all the other services they provide.

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