Some of the greatest potential threats to your oral health stem from seemingly minor conditions that don’t appear that serious at first. Tooth decay, which is the most common oral health concern for adults, is one such condition. Most often, it’s treated in its mild or moderate stages, when it can still be addressed by cleaning and filling the cavity that it has caused. However, the same condition that leads to common cavities can also lead to the less common and much more serious need for root canal treatment.

The infection inside of your tooth structure

Tooth decay is the more formal name for the infection that forms in your tooth when oral bacteria are able to reach its vulnerable main structure. This same infection erodes your tooth structure, causing a cavity to form in its earlier stages. Filling a cavity is meant to stop the progression of this infection, but if it isn’t performed promptly enough, then the infection can reach the more vulnerable structures and tissues inside of your tooth. This internal level of infection directly threatens your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, and the only way to save the tooth may be to remove them.

The root canal treatment process

Root canal treatment has the same goal as a tooth filling procedure; to remove the infectious decay from the tooth and restore any tissues and/or structure that it has lost. However, root canal treatment involves carefully accessing and cleaning the internal pulp chamber and root canal of the tooth, where the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels reside. Despite the more involved nature of root canal treatment, the procedure is most often a minimally invasive one, and after it’s complete, you have a much better chance of preserving the remaining healthy, natural tooth structure.

The extreme condition of severe tooth infection

Severe, internal tooth infection is a more serious condition than a mild cavity for several different reasons. Most importantly, the infection in your tooth has eroded a much larger amount of the tooth’s structure, including its roots and tissues. This means the tooth is in greater danger of being lost or needing extraction. The discomfort associated with the tooth decay is also more intense, and finding relief from it may only be accomplished through root canal treatment.

Learn if you need root canal treatment

Needing root canal treatment means that your tooth decay has become much more serious of a threat to your tooth. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.