Dead Tooth | Best Dental in Houston, TX

There are a few different causes of tooth death, none of which are pleasant or easy to fix.

Injury to the tooth is one of them. Getting hit in the mouth by a basketball, punched in the jaw, or tripping and hitting something can all cause tooth death. Sometimes the tooth may die quickly over the course of a week of less. Other times the tooth takes months, or even years to completely die.

Poor hygiene is another cause. By not taking care of teeth, cavities begin to form in the enamel of the teeth. If these cavities are left untreated by a dentist, the cavities will become larger and larger, slowly killing the tooth. This is because the cavity breaks through the surface enamel and hits the pulp below. The result is that blood supply is cut off from the pulp

Trauma or injury to your tooth is one possible cause for a tooth to die. For example, getting hit in the mouth with a soccer ball or tripping and hitting your mouth against something can cause your tooth to die. A tooth may die quickly, in a matter of days, or slowly, over several months or years.

How To Fix A Dead Tooth

Root Canal

A root canal treatment means that the dying tooth is treated, without completely removing it. This only works if the tooth has not died completely. A dentist will numb the area so the patient doesn’t feel anything more than light pressure and a slight aching sensation. Then, the treatment starts by removing all of the pulp that has been infected with decay. The inside of the tooth is completely cleaned and sanitized. Lastly, a cap or crown, is placed on top of the tooth. The result is a natural looking tooth that has been restored to a healthy state.

Dead Tooth Treatment Options | Dr. Jasmine Naderi

Tooth Extraction

If the tooth has died, there is no other option but to remove it. After removal, the symptoms will be resolved and a prosthetic tooth (such as a dental implant) can be put in the original tooth’s place to preserve a nice looking smile. This treatment is not overly expensive, and less painful overall than a root canal. However, it is always better to save the tooth if possible.

Why There Is No Pain In A Dead Tooth

Unfortunately, a dying or dead tooth does hurt initially. It can vary from a mild toothache to extremely painful. The infection, dying nerves and severe cavities all contribute to that.

The reason for this is the body thinks that the dead or dying nerve isn’t part of it anymore. The body attacks the “foreign object” and the result is pain as the body fights to rid itself of the intruder. After some time if the tooth is fully dead, the symptoms may resolve and the pain will alleviate. At this moment, the nerves inside the tooth no longer function, and hence the patient no longer has any symptoms. Unfortunately, unless the tooth is removed, or in some small cases a root canal is performed, a dental infection originating from the tooth could ensue.

Will A Dead Tooth Fall Out?

No it will not. Unless there is significant gum disease associated with the dead tooth, it will remain in place indefinitely. A root canal or tooth extraction should be performed as soon as possible in order to avoid any chance of infection in the area.

Dead Tooth Discoloration

A tooth that has become traumatized will eventually begin to discolor as their is injury to the vessels within the tooth itself. The staining could remain permanent unless a root canal along with internal bleaching methods are performed to restore the tooth to its natural hue.