Dead Tooth or teeth are referred to as a tooth that is no longer receiving a fresh supply of blood or no longer lives or functions as a healthy tooth. As you may know, teeth are made up of a combination of hard as well as soft tissues and nerves. Although most people do not think of teeth as they are actually living, healthy teeth are considered to be alive teeth. Some people also refer to a dead tooth as a non-vital tooth as there is no blood flowing through it.
A healthy tooth may die due to several reasons or causes but basically, when the pulp or inner layer of your teeth may get severe damage, the blood circulation for that particular tooth section or area may get interrupted. Tooth decay and tooth injury are the most common causes of the death of a tooth. A dead tooth may also happen because of a deep cavity, physical trauma, and injury. When it comes to a dead tooth, it will be easy to identify or visually detect whether any of your teeth are drying.
In this article, we will be discussing what to do when you notice a dead tooth. We will explore the symptoms, treatment, and identification of a dead tooth as well as how to prevent it from happening in the future. Let’s scroll through the article to know more about what a dead tooth is, its symptoms, and its effective treatment.
What Are Dead Teeth?
Dead teeth are teeth that are no longer having blood circulating or cannot be used for chewing, eating, and biting. They may still contain some of the nerve endings, but they are no longer attached to the jawbone and cannot be used like other healthy teeth in your mouth. A dead tooth can be the result of tooth decay, gum disease, injury, damage, or any other problem with the nerve. Generally, a tooth has three layers underneath – Pulp, Enamel, and Dentin. Whereas the pulp or inner tooth layer consists of the sensitive nerves and blood vessels.
Causes of Dead Tooth
The causes of dead teeth can vary depending on the patient’s age, diet, and oral hygiene habits. Common causes include tooth decay, gum disease, trauma, or injury to a tooth, and infection of the tooth root which can lead to bone loss due to osteonecrosis. The human body is made up of living cells and tissues that require blood flow to stay healthy and active.
Well, if you want to avoid any dental issues or problems such as a dead tooth, then you should take utmost care of your teeth. An important part of preventing and treating discolored, decayed teeth is to brush and floss daily. Brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, using an interdental brush or traditional toothbrush to brush in between the teeth and gums, and being careful not to use too much pressure are some of the things you can try while caring for your teeth.
Dead teeth are those that are no longer alive and a dead tooth is caused by a number of factors including tooth decay, trauma, and infection. In such a condition, The teeth may also be too brittle or weak to withstand the force of chewing. Treatment for a deceased tooth is dependent on the cause. However, most often this type of tooth is removed and replaced with a prosthetic implant. Below given are the most common causes of a dead tooth:
Cavities are the main cause of tooth decay which can further lead to a dead tooth. Eating sugary foods and drinks will promote the bacteria in your mouth and forms up the cavity over time. Eventually, it will have a great impact on the soft tissues of the pulp due to which the infection of the teeth takes place. Teeth infection, if not treated, can cause the death of the teeth.
Trauma or Injury
Any physical injury or trauma such as falling on your teeth on a solid surface or any sports injury that hurts your face can also encourage dying teeth. Any sudden injury can make the blood vessels burst and interrupt the natural blood flow in healthy teeth. As the blood circulation stops, the living cells and nerves inside the pulp will die.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Individuals that are not taking proper care of their teeth or have poor oral hygiene are more likely to deal with dead teeth. We recommend visiting a professional dentist for a regular dental checkup every once in a while, apart from brushing twice per day and flossing to maintain optimum dental health and prevent teeth loss.
Dead Tooth Symptoms
A dead tooth is really easy to identify for professional dentists. However, not everyone can instantly detect whether they are suffering from dying teeth or any other dental problems. People who have been dealing with dead tooth problems have been dealing with the below-mentioned symptoms or signs.
Dental Pain or Teeth Ache
When healthy or alive teeth are dying due to tooth decay or injury, it will gradually advance the pain in the teeth. A patient suffering from teeth death may experience non-existent to extreme pain. The main cause of dental pain is the nerve and living tissues inside the pulp dying due to not getting enough blood flow. Bacteria or dead nerve remnants will exert pressure on the periodontal membrane (sensitive nerve endings outside/nearby the tooth) which further leads to unbearable pain
A dead tooth, as you know, gets minimum or no blood circulation due to which the natural white color of the teeth changes to various colors ranging from Yellow to Gray to Black. If left untreated, a dead tooth may become highly infected and can lead the patient to suffer from,
- Swelling inside your mouth or around the periodontal membrane
- Painful feeling in your mouth or jaw
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food/drinks
- Bad taste due to infection and dead tooth
- Inflammation of the gums
Dead Tooth Smell
If you notice an odd or bad breath coming from your mouth while you speak or exhale, then you might consider checking if any of your teeth are rotten, decaying, or dying. A dead tooth in your mouth may result in a foul smell or stinky smell. Consulting with a professional dentist may help you detect a dead tooth and start its treatment at the earliest.
Some other signs that indicate you need treatment for a dead tooth are:
- A tooth that has lost its color and is dark in the middle, resembling charcoal
- Teeth that have become loose and wobbly, with signs of decay
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Bleeding when brushing teeth or flossing
- Pain when biting down on food or feeling pressure on the teeth while chewing
Dead or Dying Tooth Treatment
We recommend getting instantaneous dental treatment from an experienced dentist or professionals for a dead tooth is crucial. There are some efficient dental treatments or steps that can not only prevent the dying tooth but also save the teeth from getting infected. Before proceeding with dental treatment, your dentist may suggest for dead tooth X-ray to diagnose and offer treatment accordingly.
If you have pain or discomfort, then you should see your dentist right away for an examination and diagnosis. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics if they are necessary. If your pain persists, then they may recommend removing the dead teeth through effective treatments and procedures. Most common dead tooth treatments consist of:
Dead Tooth Removal/Extraction
In case, your tooth is beyond repair or has exceeded the limitation of the treatment, a professional dentist will suggest the removal or extraction of that particular dead tooth. Teeth extraction is indeed a simple and cost-effective treatment. Once your dead tooth is removed from your mouth, it is replaced by either implants or a fixed bridge.
Root Canal Therapy
Most dental surgeons try to avoid tooth extraction unless there is no other option. That’s why Root Canal Therapy is useful prior to decayed tooth removal. Root canal treatment for dying teeth or endodontics is used to remove the infection from the root and tooth. So that the dying tooth can be prevented, saved, and functional again. Dead tooth root canal treatment is a little lengthy and you may have to visit the dentist 2-3 times during the period.
What Does A Dead Tooth Look Like?
If you want to check whether you are dealing with a dying tooth, you need to know that a dead tooth will change its color to yellow, gray, light brown, or black. The more your tooth will keep decaying or dying, the more discoloration of teeth will occur. It is crucial to visit your dentist if you see your tooth change its color to brown or black.
How Long Can A Dead Tooth Stay In Your Mouth?
Most experts and dentists suggest that it will not be beneficial to keep a dead tooth as it is in your mouth. There are many dental problems and diseases that a dying tooth may lead to such as tooth loss, gum disease, and other oral infections. A dying tooth when left untreated for a few months will begin infecting other teeth around. Root canal therapy or teeth extraction is what dentists will recommend for non-living tooth treatment and it should be done as soon as a dying tooth is detected.
Can A Dead Tooth Heal Itself?
Yes, it is a fact that tooth nerves can heal themselves over time with minerals present in the mouth and the process of teeth healing itself is called remineralization. However, it is only circumstantial for a tooth to heal or revive itself and that also is possible only if the damage is minimal. It will be better to visit a dentist and get suitable treatment when a dead tooth is identified.
Dead Tooth Prevention Tips
Dental habits and oral hygiene can impact your overall dental health, especially when we are talking about preventing a dying tooth. Most people are brushing as well as floss daily and that is sufficient to remove the particles from the gum line and prevent teeth decay. But your dental health also depends on what you eat and chew all day. Hence, eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables will be helpful to get the essential minerals and nutrients for your teeth’ health. Here are some useful tips to help you understand how to prevent a dead tooth.
- Maintain optimum dental health
- Brush twice a day and floss every day
- Schedule a regular dental checkup every 3-5 months
- Visiting a dentist regularly can help you identify and get preventive treatment for a dying tooth
- A mouthguard can keep your teeth safe during sports to prevent any injury
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid sugary foods & drinks
- Drink plenty of water before and after eating something
Schedule A Consultation For Dead Tooth Treatment
Do you want to get exceptional dead tooth treatment in Tysons Corner, Virginia? Give our professionals a call at (703) 356 1200. At SmilePerfectors, we have a team of highly experienced and skilled dentists who can provide excellent dental care and treatment for all dental problems and diseases. We can provide an effective dental solution to take your dental pain away and help you get optimum oral health. Get in touch with our professionals to get more information on the dying tooth and its treatments. Follow our official account on Facebook and get the latest updates and information about our services and treatments.
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