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American Fork Dentist, Dr. Jorgensen has twin boys, and they love baseball. One day, while warming up for an all-star game, one of them got distracted and looked away just as his brother threw the ball. It hit him squarely in the mouth and fractured his two front teeth half way down the roots. One of the teeth came out and could not be saved, but one of the teeth was a candidate for an emergency root canal. How could this happen? Her options at this point – a root canal or take both teeth out. These are his permanent FRONT teeth. She decided it was worth it to do a root canal to save the tooth for now.
Some biologic dentists are viewing root canals as a temporary procedure. Maybe you are not emotionally ready to lose a tooth, or maybe the tooth is holding a bridge you want to keep for now. Maybe you’re 11 years old and need your teeth while you go through braces, and maybe you’re willing to hold out for a better solution.
We realize that life happens and you need to have a dental solution that fits your life, right now. Total Care Dental can explain all of your options and help you make a decision that is best for you and for your health.
A healthy tooth consists of a hard outer layer called enamel. Enamel protects the softer, living dentin. At the center of the dentin is the pulp cavity, the home for the blood vessels and nerves. If the tooth starts to decay, the bacteria move slowly through the outer enamel, then rapidly through the softer dentin. Once the bacteria reach the nerve, they start inflaming the nerve, and the nerve begins to die. Dead nerve tissue is food for bacteria, and the warm, moist nerve canal is a great place for the bacteria to live. Eventually the bacteria make their way to the end of the root and out the end of the tooth and become infected. This inflammation and infection is an abscess. A root canal is often used to relieve this condition, and save the tooth.
The first step of a root canal is to access the dead nerve so it can be cleaned out and filled.
The dead and infected tissue is removed, the canals are cleaned, and the space is filled with a mold-able material. Sounds great, but there is one little problem (or maybe hundreds of little problems…) Each tooth has one to four major canals that are filled in this procedure. However, coming off the main canals are literally miles of microscopic accessory canals.
These accessory canals cannot be predictably cleaned and filled. The bad guys are now trapped outside the main nerve chamber, but they find a new home in the accessory canals. These bacteria can hang out for years or even decades without causing any problems. As long as your immune system remains strong (kind of like your own police force), the bacteria play nice.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict how long a root canalled tooth will stay quiet. It can be affected by oral and systemic pH, stress, nutrition, fatigue, illness, trauma, etc. Even if you don’t feel symptoms, the bacteria in those accessory canals can cause issues in other areas of your body.
Every root canal situation is different, and we work with you to figure out what is best for you now and long term. We may recommend removing root canal teeth, and if so, the removal must be done carefully to prevent further problems. Talk with the dentist at Total Care Dental to find out what is best for you.
Many proponents of fluoride say there is evidence to show that widespread use of fluoride has helped to decrease dental decay. In fact, many communities have added fluoride to the drinking water. What you don’t know is that there is a darker side to the fluoride issue.
An even bigger issue is that fluoride is an uncontrolled substance. Let’s take an example of a cute toddler with caring parents. They take her to her a pediatrician and he prescribes vitamin drops with fluoride. They dutifully give them to her every day. They also brush her teeth twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste. They have a fluoride rinse they use, and their little girl loves the bubble gum taste. For a treat they let her swish it around just like they do (even though they know she swallows most of it while swishing). Finally, they are so glad to live in a city that has fluoridated water – they want to make sure she has great teeth!
So what is the answer? There are some very serious, documented problems with fluoride, but there is also documented proof that fluoride does help prevent tooth decay. The bigger question for me is, are there other ways to prevent cavities, that don’t have the negative side-effects of fluoride. The answer is yes – properly clean your teeth and gums.
Talk to the hygienists at Total Care Dental about the Total Care Healthy Tooth program. It is possible!
Let’s talk about a few things that will help answer that question. As tooth decay digs into the tooth, the nerve tries to get away. If the decay moves slowly enough, the nerve can stay ahead of it. It backs down the canal, and builds a wall of reparative dentin between itself and the decay. However, if the decay is spreading rapidly, the nerve can’t stay ahead, and the decay takes over and kills the nerve.
So let’s answer the question – can it heal? The answer is yes, depending on the type of decay and your prevention techniques. If it is slow moving decay, and if you change your diet and cleaning habits, you may slow it down and even stop the spread, allowing the tooth to build a wall. You haven’t replaced the damaged tooth, but you’ve built something in its place.
Give your tooth a helping hand. Acid is what causes the destruction on the teeth. If your body is very acidic, you are feeding the flames. Work to create a more alkaline inner pH and you will help your teeth. There are also alkaline tooth powders that you can purchase to help alkalinize your mouth.
Brushing your teeth and regular checkups aren’t always enough. With the Total Care Dental No More Cavities program, you will learn to care for your teeth in a way your mother didn’t teach you.
A cavity is a hole in your tooth. That hole starts in the enamel – the hard outer layer in your tooth, and spreads to the dentin – the soft inner layer. This may come as a shock, but sugar on the tooth is not what causes that hole. It does have a part to play, though.
There are millions of bacteria in your mouth, and their favorite food is sugar! When they eat sugar, their waste product (poop for lack of a more PC word) is acid. It is this acid that creates a hole in the tooth. So, the more bacteria you have (this is why you should brush your teeth), and the more sugar you feed them, the more cavities you get. Most of the time….
Dr. Jorgensen’s younger brother taught her that this isn’t always true. During his teenage years, he had some new-fangled “white braces” put on his teeth. He rarely brushed, so those white braces became orange braces, green braces – the color matched the meal. Funny thing was, he never got cavities around those braces. If cavities are always caused by bacteria eating sugar, he would have had a mouth full. What protected his teeth?
There is a “leaky roof “ theory that comes in here. If your roof starts leaking when it rains, do you blame the rain or do you blame your roof? It’s obviously a roof problem. When the roof on your home is well sealed and strong, it will not leak whether it rains or not. Dr. Jorgensen’s brother showed that when your tooth enamel is strong and healthy, it will not be affected by what is going on in your mouth – even when you don’t brush your teeth. His roof was secure. His enamel was healthy. He had fed his teeth the right building blocks so they would be resistant to the bacteria and sugar. How can you do that??
Dr. Weston Price
Dr. Weston Price researched societies all over the world and found little pockets of people that didn’t get cavities. He then researched what they were doing to make their teeth cavity resistant. What he found surprised even him. He conclusively showed that tooth decay in modern civilization is due to a lack of nutrients in our modern diet and today’s scientists have proven what Dr. Price found to be true.
What are those nutrients exactly? Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. What do these vitamins do? Without getting too technical, not all the vitamins and minerals you eat are able to get into the places they are needed. Imagine a key in a lock. Unless you have the right key, you’re not going to get through that door, no matter how much you need to get through! These fat soluble vitamins open the door and allow your body to absorb minerals and use protein.
The Total Care Dental No More Cavities program will show you how to care for your teeth from the inside out. You will learn how healthy eating is not only good for the body, but promotes healthy teeth as well.
At Total Care Dental, we understand that switching to a new dentist, or finding a new dentist can be a worrisome task. You want to find someone who is professional, offers services that you need or want, and provides a friendly atmosphere. We believe we meet that standard and beyond. Follow one of the steps below and have your most enjoyable dental visit ever!