Causes for Root Canal Procedures

Causes for Root Canal Procedures

Say the words ‘root canal’ and many patients head for the hills. However, there is little cause for concern. Hundreds of thousands of people in San Antonio, Texas and around the world have undergone root canals. Contrary to popular belief; root canals are not painful and in fact are often less painful than regular fillings.

Root canals occur when a dentist needs to find the cause of and treat a problem related to the tooth’s soft core – the pulp. When the pulp becomes diseased, the tooth cannot repair itself. If left untreated, the tooth will die, and need to be extracted. A root canal provides a safe way that we can remove the infected pulp and keep your tooth intact.

What causes the need for a root canal?

While good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain healthy teeth, it’s a myth that only people who don’t look after their teeth need root canals. Other problems include:


A decaying tooth is the most common problem. It can be treated early on by removing the decay and filling the cavity. However, if left too long, the tooth can become infected.


An infected tooth may cause a tremendous amount of pain and swelling along the gum line and is often the first sign that a root canal may be necessary.

Chipped or cracked tooth

People often leave a chipped or cracked tooth for too long before seeing their dentist or wait so long that the tooth starts to decay or becomes infected.

Clenching or grinding teeth

Some patients suffer from a condition called Bruxism, where they clench or grind their teeth while sleeping. Although preventable with a mouth guard, most patients don’t even realize they do this. The repeated trauma from clenching and grinding can cause the tooth to die out and need a root canal.

Repeated trauma

In San Antonio, Texas, we see many people come in with repeated dental injuries from playing contact sports. Eventually that can lead to infection and needing to have a root canal. Make sure you look after your teeth when playing sports. Always wear a helmet, face and mouth guard to prevent dental injuries.

Multiple dental procedures

Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but if you’ve had multiple dental procedures on a particular tooth, it can weaken its structure and cause an entry for infection. Also multiple dental procedures on the same tooth may cause the tooth/nerve to get irritated and possibly lead to a root canal.

Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are ultimately the best way to ensure you avoid developing oral issues. But, as you can see, there are many other common problems that can lead to a root canal.

We are always accepting new patients and are available for emergency appointments. If you think you may need a root canal, and you’re in San Antonio, Texas, we can help. Book an appointment today with one of our highly trained professionals at Pediatric Dentistry of San Antonio.