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oral health in new westminster

Can Oral Health affect Other Health Issues?

Oral health can no longer be separated from overall health. Unless you are free of dental disease, particularly gum disease – and the other oral health issues that harm overall health – you can never be truly healthy.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can increase the risk and severity of many more serious health problems, including heart disease. Thus, you must be clear about this; the effect of dental disease on overall health is far more serious than its relationship to teeth and gums. In fact, moderate to severe gum disease can;

  • Severely stress the immune system
  • Lower resistance to other infections
  • Increase the severity of diabetes
  • Contribute to respiratory disease
  • Contribute to low preterm birth weights
  • Interfere with proper digestion
  • Actually reduce life expectancy

If gum disease is not acknowledged as an obstacle to achieving overall health, any efforts to treat other existing diseases, improve health, and extend life will not be effective and will fall short of desired goals. Every person who cares about his or her health and every dentist in New Westminster, BC who wants to successfully treat patients must understand this important relationship. The reality is that ‘you cannot be healthy without healthy gums and teeth!’

Other Oral Health Issues that can Harm Overall Health

Along with amalgam fillings and gum disease, there are other oral health issues that can negatively affect systemic health, including:

  1. Infected root canals
  2. Jawbone infections
  3. Non-biocompatible dental materials

The impact of these oral health issues on overall health is determined by the seriousness and duration of each, and how many are present in an individual.

The fact is that is that a large percentage of the population is affected by some, or all of the above oral health problems. For example, an individual could have periodontal disease (the most serious form of gum disease), suffer from chronic mercury poisoning, have an infection from a failed root canal, a jawbone infection, and allergic reaction to dental materials – all present at the same time. Of course, many variables exist, as someone can have advanced gum disease and only have a few amalgam fillings. In that scenario, the effects of gum disease on overall health would be much greater than the effects of mercury. I’m sure you can imagine all of the possibilities that exist – none of them good.

But what is important to consider here is that if you are dealing with any, some, or all of the oral health issues that can damage overall health you should let your New Westminster dentist know about them as he or she may be looking for other causes of your health problems than those related to these oral health issues. That can be frustrating for both you and your dentist. Although there is no way of knowing exactly how much these oral health issues are contributing to your medical problems but that isn’t the point – as there is no doubt they are contributing to them to some degree. If you want to do all you can to improve your oral and overall health it means that you will have to take the necessary steps to work with your dental office in New Westminster, BC to eliminate these oral health problems and repair the damage done by them.

root canal new westminster

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal

Our dental office in New Westminster has compiled a list of top questions regarding Root Canal. If you need immediate treatment or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our dental clinic at: (604) 544-0894

1. What is a Root Infection and How Do I Know If I Have One?

When the bottom section (below the gum) of a tooth develops a cavity, either through decay or a fracture, this gap quickly fills up with nasty bacteria. This is very bad for the health of teeth and gums and puts a great strain on surrounding tissues. If left untreated, it can cause tooth loss, bone degeneration, and gum disease.

The symptoms of a root infection can sometimes be very easy to spot and a little trickier at other times. In fact, you really do not want the symptoms to be too obvious because if they are, you likely have an abscess. This is a very painful condition and it only occurs if a dental problem has been allowed to deteriorate.

In some cases, root infections may present mild pain, but to make sure that they are spotted early, keep up with regular dentist appointments. That way, a root canal can be scheduled before any irreversible damage is done to the pulp inside the affected tooth. This will give you a very high chance of being able to keep it. On the other hand, if the infection has been allowed to fester for too long, the tooth may need to be extracted.

2. Is it expensive?

Saving your tooth through endodontic treatment is less expensive and less invasive than an extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant. The cost will depend on your dental insurance coverage. Our staff will help with getting your insurance information and let you know the cost of your root canal.

3. How long does the repaired tooth last?

Potentially, the repaired tooth lasts a lifetime! If the patient has a good oral care routine and visits the dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams, the restored tooth should have a long life.

4. What is a root canal procedure?

During root canal treatment, the tooth pulp and tooth roots are cleaned to remove microbes that cause infection, and a filling material is placed in the roots.

The procedure is performed when the tooth pulp has become infected (a condition is known as pulpitis) or when the infection has spread to the roots or jawbone.

Microbes and infected tissue are removed from the pulp and roots using special needles and chemical rinsing substances. After the tooth has been disinfected, a filling material is placed in the root canal.

5. What problems and pain can occur due to the root canal procedure?

Root canal treatment usually requires multiple relatively long visits (30-90 minutes per visit). The mouth has to be kept open during the treatment, and as a result, jaw joints and the muscles that keep the mouth open often get tired.

Local anesthesia used in dental procedures is effective in preventing root canal pain during the treatment. It may not work properly in rare cases, such as when the infection has spread widely and caused changes in the acidity of the surrounding tissue.

Sometimes, teeth become discolored and turn dark or grey following a root canal treatment. This discoloration is caused by bleeding inside the tooth or by the filling material used in the procedure. Discolored teeth can be whitened.

6. What can I do if root canal therapy doesn’t work?

At times, a root canal won’t be able to save your tooth. One of the best alternatives to root canal therapy is a tooth extraction. If your dentist recommends this dental procedure, you will also need a tooth implant or dental bridge in order to restore full functionality of your mouth and smile.

7. Should I be worried about X-rays?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system called digital radiography that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery.

8. Is there any other method to reduce my anxiety besides local anesthesia?

We are very sensitive to the fact that, no matter how well-informed you are about the procedure, you may still experience anxiety. Protecting your oral health is our top priority, and we don’t want you to forgo treatment because you’re fearful about the procedure. In that case we offer sedation options that will calm you so that you can get the treatment you need.

9. How will I feel after a root canal?

Your tooth may feel a little sensitive after the procedure, but you’ll finally be out of pain! If you’re experiencing soreness or sensitivity, you can take over-the-counter medications.

10. Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment?

After your root canal procedure, you should be careful not to bite or chew on the treated tooth until it has recovered. We encourage all patients to practice good daily oral care that includes flossing and brushing.

Signs for a root canal

Guide to Root Canals

Why undergo a root canal? Simply to address an abscess, a cavity that has reached tooth pulp, severing of tooth nerve due to trauma, a tooth fracture, or inflammation of tooth nerve from repeated dental procedures.

For more information on root canals, see the info-graph below provided by your New Westminster Dentist.

guild to root canals