According to the Indian Dental Association, looking after your teeth should be a priority as it may prevent other health issues. Research has shown that periodontal disease or gum disease is related to heart illness. Officially, the association recommends regular dental checks to catch problems, if any, early. These should ideally be every 3 – 4 months. At times, symptoms of tooth decay may not be obvious enough. As a result, a person experiencing pain in the tooth, for instance, may get relief for a while, thinking nothing of it. Regular visits to the dentist, apart from routine care of teeth at home, such as brushing teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing after brushing, and avoiding starchy food, can prevent lengthy and painful dental procedures.
Root canal treatment is not only expensive, but may arise out of something as small as a cavity that wasn’t detected in time. In 2019, a national-level study done for Colgate-Palmolive India stated that 8 out of 10 children (at least) had oral health problems. Out of these, the majority displayed issues that related to a high accumulation of plaque, visible caries, swollen gums and bad breath. The incidence of cavities was the most as 2 out of 3 children had them. The study also discovered that 9 in 10 adults were afflicted by a serious oral health issue. The east of India had the highest rate of dental problems overall at 89%, followed by the west at 88%.
The Dreaded Root Canal
The above mentioned study found, very significantly, that there was an alarming disparity in the perception of oral health problems in children’s teeth by their parents. This had nothing to do with avoiding the dentist due to high dental care treatment costs, as a range of income groups was studied. Most prominently, in Kolkata, 92% of parents did not believe that their children had any oral health issues. The same sentiment was followed by 88% of parents in Mumbai, and 80% in Hyderabad, respectively. Six out of ten adults had not scheduled a dentist appointment in over a year, and many of those, it was found, had cavities that would have likely needed more complex care like root canal treatment if left unattended.
The What and When of Root Canal
When a simple cavity is left untreated (not filled in time), teeth get infected, and a root canal procedure is undertaken. Root canals are typically warranted when teeth are cracked (by injury or genetics), when a deep cavity is formed, or when there seem to be apparent problems due to an earlier filling. The treatment is designed to remove bacteria from the root canal of the infected tooth and prevent infection from occurring again. The aim is to save the natural tooth as the infection is in the canal of the root only. Infected pulp tissue or inflamed pulp is taken out, the tooth is cleaned, then filled and sealed.
You may need a root canal procedure if you have the following signs:
- Severe pain in your tooth
- Swollen gums
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Decay/darkening of the gums
- Persistent tooth sensitivity, even after very hot or cold stimuli is removed
- Severe pain while biting or chewing
It’s never a good idea to neglect your teeth. Just as we have regular checks for overall health, teeth should be paid attention to as well. With certain health card benefits like those you get from the Bajaj Finserv Health EMI Card, you can get access to a range of healthcare treatments, from root canal procedures to cosmetic surgery. This digital tool helps you break up your diagnostic, pharmacy and hospital bills into flexible EMIs that you can pay over a 24-month tenor later.