Your local endodontist is a dentist who has taken additional training in the area of endodontics. Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on treating infection or tooth disease of the inner area of the tooth, called the tooth pulp. If you need a root canal or have another issue with the inside of a tooth, your local general dentist will refer you to a local endodontist. During the root canal process, the local endodontist will clean out the infected root canal, fill it and fit it with a temporary crown. You will return at a later date to get a permanent crown. Your dental health affects your overall well-being, so talk to your local dentist and local family physician to learn more about healthy eating, proper chronic disease/chronic pain management and oral health.
The Importance of Good Oral Health
Research has shown that there is a link between oral disease and health problems such as:
• Heart disease and stroke
• Respiratory diseases
• Premature and low weight babies
Tooth decay, also called dental caries or cavities, is an uncomfortable condition that can lead to serious infections. Cavities are caused by plaque, which forms on the teeth every day and contains most of the germs that cause caries. If you don’t properly remove plaque with brushing and flossing, you could end up with a cavity that you need to have filled by your dentist.
Gum disease is another common dental problem that begins with plaque. If you don’t remove plaque with brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist. Tartar can lead to an infection as the gums attach to the teeth, causing gingivitis (early stage gum disease). As gingivitis worsens and causes infection, gum disease symptoms may become more noticeable, such as a change of colour in the gums or bleeding when brushing or flossing. People may have to see a local periodontist for gum disease.
Oral cancer belongs to the group of oropharyngeal cancers. It occurs two times more than cervical cancer, and three times the number of people die from oral cancer. Oral cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in the mouth, tongue, lips or throat. It most commonly affects people over the age of 45, and can be successfully treated if caught early. Risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, oral sex, poor diet and genetics. Don’t wait until you have symptoms of a dental disease to visit your dentist – go twice a year to maintain optimal dental health!