How Endodontics affects your overall health

Many people focus on their teeth as only affecting their appearance, or as only concerning the health of their mouth. But did you know that your oral health has an impact on your overall well-being?

More and more attention is being focused on the fact that your tooth and gum health is closely connected to your general health, and increasingly dentists, like the ones at Loock Dental Practice, are focusing on holistic dentistry, which places your dental health within the context of your overall well-being.

In this post, we take a look at some of the main ways Endodontics, in particular, affects your health, and how looking after your health can help you prevent or recover from Endodontic treatment. You can read our post explaining more about Endodontics here. One of the most common Endodontics procedures people are familiar with is root canal treatment, which is one of the specialities available at Loock Dental in Parow, close to Durbanville. 

Endodontic problems and your health

One of the primary aims of both Endodontics and holistic dentistry is the preservation, where possible, of the tooth, rather than its removal. Endodontics involves repairing and preventing further damage to the inside of the tooth.

Your body will naturally try to fight infection and repair damage if the tooth ever gets infected or damaged through injury or decay of the enamel tooth coating. This means your overall immune health is very important in fighting infection and repairing the body. However, if the tooth enamel has a deeper crack or cavity in it and germs from your saliva penetrate the pulp inside the tooth, this can lead to a serious infection, which must be treated by your dentist.

Damage to the inside of the tooth and the jaw bone

If infection of the pulp inside the tooth goes untreated, it can develop into an abscess. This is a build up of pus (infectious material) at the root tip, where blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth and connect it to the rest of your body. In time, this can kill off both the pulp inside the tooth and the jawbone surrounding the tooth root.

At this point, there is no more blood supply in the tooth, so your body cannot naturally clear away the toxins. A root canal would attempt to clear out and sterilise the tooth to prevent further damage to the tooth structure and the jaw bone.

As mentioned in our previous post, special care has to be taken with root canal treatments in children, as the permanent tooth is sometimes already emerging underneath the milk tooth that might need treatment.

Tooth infection problems spreading beyond the mouth

Apart from the pain that results from cavities and infected root canals, and the potential loss of a tooth (which can affect your self-esteem and your ability to eat properly), a tooth abscess can lead to more life-threatening infections.

This is because infectious bacteria in your tooth can get into your bloodstream (via the infected tooth root), your digestive system (through your saliva), or your respiratory system (via the blood or by breathing bacteria from your mouth into your lungs).

Through these means, infections that enter the bloodstream from your teeth can have a serious impact on your cardiovascular (heart) health. 

Likewise, bacteria entering your respiratory system from your teeth and gums can lead to potentially serious health problems, including pneumonia and bronchitis.

If you have any questions about your Endodontic health and how you can prevent and/or treat Endodontic problems, please contact one of our team of friendly dentists here at Loock Dental Practice, and we would be happy to examine your teeth and discuss options tailored to your general health and stage of life.

Posted in

Marguerite MacRobert

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Children & Fillings

Children and Fillings

Do young children need to get fillings in milk teeth? There is a common misconception that young children’s milk teeth or baby teeth are temporary and are not a big deal to look after. Why spend money on dental treatment for a tooth that is going to fall out soon anyway? Loock Dental would like … Read more

Teenager Brazilian girl brushing her teeth over isolated white background

Replacing Silver Fillings

Should your dentist remove and replace your old silver tooth fillings? At Loock dental, we fill teeth with white filling which can be colour matched to your teeth and which is mercury-free. However, if you are over a certain age, or have been to a different dental practice, you might have existing silver fillings.  For … Read more


Brushing up on the basics: are you brushing your teeth right?

Brushing up on the basics: are you brushing your teeth right?Do you know for sure if you are brushing your teeth correctly? Toothbrushing is one of those skills you learn when you are too young to really remember. Perhaps as you were growing up, your dentist gave you some tips (especially if you’d just had … Read more


Can vaping harm your teeth and gums like smoking cigarettes?

Vaping, or smoking e-cigarettes appears to be ‘cleaner’ than smoking old-fashioned cigarettes. You can also vape flavoured liquids that do not contain nicotine at all. However, early research on vaping shows why your dentist will not be recommending it as a healthier alternative for your teeth and gums any time soon. Here’s why vaping can … Read more

Tooth pain and dentistry concept. Sad man with painful expression

Dental emergencies: what counts as a dental emergency, plus dental first aid and when to get help

For patients in a hurry: If you are in the middle of a dental emergency, it is best to head to your nearest hospital and they will contact the dentist on call. Can it wait? What counts as a dental emergency? Understandably, with the cost of emergency after hours care, people would like to know … Read more