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Dead Teeth and What You Can Do about Them

Posted on 4/20/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
A man suffering from dead teeth covering his smile with his hand!Do you have a dead tooth in your mouth? A dead tooth occurs when the nerve and other living tissues inside of a tooth have died or have been removed with root canal treatment.

This can be caused by tooth trauma due to a physical injury or decay. If you suspect that you have experienced the death of a tooth, it is important to follow up with your dentist for treatment.

Signs You've Got a Dead Tooth

While your dentist will be able to confirm the death of a tooth, there are a few symptoms that you should look for:

•  Darkened color. If your tooth is suddenly a yellow, brown, or black color and doesn't match the surrounding teeth, there is obviously something going on with it. A discolored appearance can come from the bruising of dying blood cells and won't go away on its own.
•  Pain. A dying tooth typically doesn't feel great, and while the nerve is dying off, discomfort can be severe.
•  Signs of infection. If an abscess or infection is present, swelling, odor, a pimple on the gums, and a bad taste in the mouth might result.

Treating Your Dead Teeth

So, if your tooth is dead, what is the big deal about treating it? Can't you just leave it there? The answer is a definite no. This dead tooth is a perfect place for bacteria to hang out and breed, and an abscess can result if it isn't taken care of.

So, you have two treatment options available to correct the problem - root canal and extraction. A root canal will clean out the tooth, remove the infection, and seal it up before placing a crown over the top of it. However, there are many cases where the tooth is just too far gone to repair, and an extraction is the only viable option.

Please contact us if you have any questions about how a dead tooth effects your oral health.
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