What is a Dead Tooth?
April 30, 2016
A dead tooth is a serious dental concern that can impact the health of your entire mouth. All teeth work together to create a complete and stable smile. When one tooth has undergone severe damage or decay, it can quickly affect the integrity of those remaining teeth, especially the ones directly adjacent to it. Teeth require a constant access to blood flow, just like all of the other components of our body. When a tooth loses its blood supply, it will lose its life source.
All teeth are composed of three layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The dentin and pulp contain blood vessels and nerve fibers that keep it connected to the blood supply. There are two main causes of a dead tooth.
- A tooth that has received serious trauma is the most susceptible to dying. When a blow to the face or mouth causes a tooth to become knocked out of place, it will immediately be severed from its blood supply. If the blood vessels are greatly damaged and are unable to reconnect themselves within the tooth’s socket, the tooth will not be able to heal. Severe trauma often causes instant death to a tooth. However, if you ever receive injury to your mouth, it is imperative that you seek immediate dental treatment because there are instances when a knocked-out-tooth can be restored.
- Dental decay and infection is the other main cause of a dead tooth. Cavities are typically the mildest form of tooth decay, and when they are treated early on with dental fillings, they are able to successfully restore the health of a tooth. However, any time cavities or infection are allowed to progress inside the mouth they will eventually reach the pulp of the tooth. An infection that reaches the nerves and blood vessels will eventually cause them to sever themselves, and the tooth will lose its supply of blood.
Any time there is worry of decay or infection inside your mouth, it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Pain, discoloration, and sensitivity are often associated with decay and are reliable indicators that a serious concern is developing. By taking the necessary measures to treat cavities when they are small, you can help prevent a tooth from dying.
At Heritage Dental we are here to help you achieve and maintain the healthiest mouth possible. If you have any indication that your tooth is infected or that it has died, please contact us right away. A dead tooth is nothing to ignore.