Though difficult to identify, some patients wonder if they have a dead tooth when they notice discoloration (yellow, black, or gray), or if they experience pain in their tooth. While these are known symptoms of a dead, non-vital tooth, only a dental professional can determine if the pulp of the tooth is actually dead.
To explain the causes of a dead tooth, consider the following:
Tooth Decay or Gum Disease: When a cavity or bacterial infection in a tooth is not treated, the decay spreads to the pulp or root of the tooth. The healthy pulp of the tooth responds with inflammation, in an effort to get rid of the bacteria. Yet, by doing so, the blood supply is shut off, and the nerve dies.
Trauma: Perhaps a common occurrence in children that participate in sports, severe falls or collision injuries, or any direct force on the teeth can result in a dead tooth. Simply put, when the tooth is exposed to blunt force, the blood supply to the tip of the root is also knocked, or severed. As with tooth decay or gum disease, the nerve dies.
While pain from a dead tooth can vary from severe to mild to none at all, it’s best to see a dentist as soon as possible following an injury. In some cases, individuals may notice a bad taste in their mouth or the presence of a pimple on the gum line. This is most likely an abscess, and is indicative of a growing infection.
What Will My Dentist Do?
When it comes to treatment for a dead or non-vital tooth, there are generally two avenues that dentists will take. If a tooth is beyond repair, tooth extraction may be necessary. Yet, root canal therapy is often performed as a way to keep the tooth, while removing the infected pulp. Advancements in dentistry have led many to opt for root canal treatment, as it is a painless and highly successful way to save a dead tooth and prevent further infection.
With Five-Star Comprehensive Dentistry, Marvin Village Dentistry is a premier dental facility in Charlotte that wants to be your family’s dental home! When it comes to your oral health, we take great strides to ensure that you understand all of your options. That way, you can feel confident about the decisions you’re making. If you suspect that you have advanced decay or trauma that has led to a dead tooth, Dr. Ginger Walford and the team welcome your call today.
Posted on behalf of Marvin Village Dentistry