What is a Dead Tooth?
What is a dead tooth and what can you do about it?
A tooth is considered dead when there is no more blood flowing into its most vital parts: the nerves and blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves that make up its pulp.
A dead tooth won’t necessarily rest in peace. In some cases, it can haunt you – as it can cause the following issues:
- Pain: The site can still harbor bacteria, causing pus buildup. This buildup, coupled with the remaining dead nerves, can place pressure on the periodontal membrane.
- Infection: The situation above can lead to infection and inflammation. Left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to nearby teeth. It can also penetrate deeper into the root and jawbone.
- Abscess: Our friends at Laurich Dentistry said that the infection can turn into an abscess, causing swelling, immense pain, bad taste and bad odor in the mouth. Pimples on the gums and side of the mouth can also most likely occur.
- Complications: Infection in the teeth, especially when left unattended, leads to other dental problems. Complications can affect not just the mouth but also other parts of the body.
- Discoloration: The enamel of a dead tooth can darken, turning yellow, gray and eventually black over time.
What to do if a tooth dies
If you suspect your tooth is dying or dead, go to your dentist in Sterling Heights immediately. Pay the visit even if you are not experiencing pain. Immediate detection and treatment are important as these will protect the site from further infection.
Your dentist will check the site and may use an X-ray to further investigate its current state. Depending on the extent of the damage, your dentist may recommend either root canal or extraction.
Root canal therapy is often the first option as its objective is to save the tooth. The procedure will allow your dentist to remove all decaying and remaining pulp and clear all infection within and around the tooth.
After the tooth’s interior has been cleaned and disinfected, the site will be filled and sealed. To improve the tooth’s aesthetics, whitening treatment, crowns or veneers are usually recommended.
Meanwhile, if the entire tooth structure cannot be saved, then tooth extraction will be the only solution. The extracted tooth can be replaced with a fixed bridge, implant or denture.
Preventing the death of a tooth
The most common causes of tooth death are tooth decay and physical trauma.
To prevent tooth decay, establishing good dental habits is of utmost importance. Commit to lifelong dental care including practicing proper brushing and flossing, avoiding smoking, alcohol and too many sweets, and visiting your dentist regularly.
To prevent injuries in the mouth, the use of mouthguards when playing highly active sports is a must. If the trauma is a result of an accident or an unexpected incident, then make sure to call your trusted Sterling Heights dentist immediately to increase the chances of saving the tooth.