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As the strongest substance in your body, your tooth enamel is king. This is thanks to the thin but tough outer layer of tooth enamel that covers the dentin and tooth pulp below it. The pulp houses the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.

To protect your pearly whites from the ravages of tooth decay and injury, our Jacqueline S. Reid DDS team in Chatham, New Jersey, recommends daily brushing and flossing, combined with regular professional dental cleanings to keep them healthy and strong. To protect your teeth against injury, we also encourage wearing an athletic mouthguard while playing contact sports and engaging in certain recreational activities.

But what happens when a tooth is in trouble, and you are told you might need a root canal? If your infected tooth is left untreated, you may experience the death of the tooth pulp, loss of bone, and eventually even the loss of the tooth.

Your dentist will recommend a root canal to relieve tooth pain, and with the use of modern tools and sedation, it is not much different than having a dental filling placed.

The most common need for a root canal includes an infected or inflamed tooth pulp that arises from deep decay in the tooth, if a tooth has undergone repeated dental procedures, and cracking, chipping, or root fracture. You may have an infected tooth if you have a hole in a tooth, tooth pain, toothache, swelling gums, sensitivity to temperatures, and even swelling in your face or neck.

If you have been dreading having a root canal, please remember that they are performed to relieve tooth pain and to save your tooth. It is generally preferable to keep a tooth rather than replace it.

At the dental practice of Dr. Jacqueline S. Reid serving patients in Chatham, New Jersey, we look forward to helping you save your smile, and a root canal can do just that! Please call us at 973.635.9456 if you have any questions or concerns, or to schedule a visit with our team.