What Causes the Need for a Root Canal?

Are you in need of a root canal treatment?

Around 3.9 billion people around the world have a case of dental decay that needs addressing. Often, these problems go over without a hitch, only needing some cleaning and filling. However, some cases are more extreme than others, warranting more extreme measures to resolve them.

In these cases, dentists often end up going with root canals to solve these problems. What pushes these cases to be more extreme, though? What causes the need for a root canal?

To find out, read what we have below. Learn about the common causes of root canals and what factors you need to look out for to avoid needing one in the end. 

What Causes the Need for a Root Canal?

Several factors warrant the need for a root canal. These are often long-term factors that you can help remedy from the start. Doing so prevents the need for the treatment.

What is a root canal, in the first place?

It's among the most popular dental treatments nowadays, with over 15 million procedures performed every year. It's when a dentist exposes the pulp of a tooth, removes it, and fills in the gap before sealing the tooth once again.

With that out of the way, let's get to what can cause you to get one:

Long-Term Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the most common cause of root canals. In most cases, a person only has small instances of tooth decay, though. These cases only need some routine cleaning followed by the filling of the tooth to resolve the issue.

However, some cases report having teeth with more than 75% of the tooth suffering from decay. These are the cases that often warrant a root canal treatment. This is because long-term tooth decay eats away at the protective enamel of the teeth.

This causes the tooth's pulp to become exposed to decay. As you can imagine, the pulp doesn't have anything to defend itself against the bacteria produced by the decay. The pulp then becomes infected, causing immense pain once the infection spreads.

Once the infection spreads to the roots, it's possible that it can spread throughout your body through the bloodstream. Getting a root canal prevents this from happening.

You can also prevent this from happening by brushing your teeth regularly. Doing this is enough to remove most of the bacteria that cause tooth decay. This way, you can prevent the cavities that expose your pulp in the first place.

Heavy Trauma on the Teeth

If you've had some accidents that resulted in jaw injuries before, it can turn into possible root canal causes in the future. Things like car accidents and heavy falls are examples of these injuries. Some are even things you may not expect, like sports injuries that weren't a big deal as a child.

This is because blunt trauma like that can cause your teeth to impact each other. This impact can induce nerve damage that will only develop into worse problems in later years.

To prevent this, you must wear a mouthguard when engaging in sports. It helps prevent direct trauma to your teeth should something hit you hard.

Some incidents of trauma can also knock out your fillings. This causes your nerve and pulp to become exposed, often causing them to become inflamed. This can settle down after a while, but will only come back until you've had a dentist remove it.

Tooth Fractures

There are many ways for tooth fractures to happen. Grinding your teeth, biting down on hard foods or objects, and even clenching your teeth too hard can cause fractures to form on the surface. 

Sometimes, these fractures run deep enough that bacteria can enter the tooth. Once it does, it can make its way towards the pulp chamber, where it can then infect the pulp. This can cause varying levels of discomfort in your mouth.

In some cases, there are even abscesses that form in the pulp chamber. this is dangerous as they often contain waste products that can be toxic to you. Removing them as soon as possible is important to prevent these from entering your bloodstream.

Visiting your dentist is a great way to prevent this from getting worse. They'll be able to determine whether something is developing in your teeth. They may even save you some trouble by addressing the problem before you end up needing a root canal.

What to Do After a Root Canal

After a root canal, your dentist will often recommend that you wear a dental crown. This is to protect the treated tooth while it recovers. It's often the case if you've had a root canal treatment done on your molars.

This way, you can go back to chewing your food as if you haven't had a minor surgery done on you. That doesn't mean everything else is normal, though. Your tooth and jaw will still need to recover after your root canal.

After the first few hours, your mouth will feel numb. This is because of all the anesthesia used on you during the operation. Once it subsides, though, you may feel slight pain and irritation.

What's great is that there are a lot of ways for you to make your recovery easier. Following those and the advice of your dentist ensures you won't have any issues during the recovery period.

The procedure will only be truly finished after the placement of a permanent crown. Once that's over with, you should be able to chew your food without worry once again.

Learn the Causes of a Root Canal and Avoid Them Today

What causes the need for a root canal? With the help of the guide above, you need not worry about what may push your case to warrant such treatment. Learn all about the different root canal causes and how to avoid them today!

Are you looking for top-notch dental services? Contact us here and we'll get in touch with you as soon as we can! We can help you with any of your dental needs, from Invisalign to All-On-Four implants!

Contact Us

Send Us an Email

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Empire Dental Group


10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-7:00 pm


10:00 am-2:00 pm


10:00 am-2:00 pm


9:00 am-2:00 pm