What to Do About a Dead Tooth & How To Treat Them

Do you think you might have a dead tooth? When a tooth dies, there are some tell-tale indicators, and you must consult your dentist without delay. But what is a dead tooth, how can you be sure you have one and what will the dentist be able to do about it? Let’s find out. 

Image of a dead tooth Auckland

What is a Dead Tooth?


Many people don’t realise that a tooth is a living thing. We only see the hard enamel coating, but beneath this, there are several layers, and these contain living tissue. Right at the centre is the root, and this includes nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue, just like any other part of the body. The main living structure within the tooth is called the pulp, and this extends from the root to the crown. If the pulp’s blood supply is cut off or restricted, the tooth can die. This condition is also known as pulp necrosis.


Symptoms of a Dead Tooth


The most common and obvious symptom of a dead tooth is pain and discomfort. Pain and is often caused by inflammation inside the tooth as the pulp breaks down. This break-down also leads to discolouration. As well as these symptoms in the tooth itself, you might also experience swollen, tender or bleeding gums, an unpleasant taste in the mouth and bad breath. 

What Causes a Tooth To Die?


The restricted blood supply causes a dead tooth to the pulp. This, in turn, is most commonly a result of tooth decay. If you have a break or crack in the tooth, there is a higher risk of infection, and this can trigger decay and in the worst case, a dead tooth. This is why it is so essential to get any cracks repaired by your dentist without delay, even if the damage seems minor and is not causing you pain. 


Common treatments for a Dead Tooth


As is the case with so many dental conditions, the most appropriate course of treatment depends on your specific circumstances. Sometimes, root canal work can repair the blood vessels and get the supply flowing again. Alternatively, it might be necessary to extract the dead tooth and explore different options for replacing it, such as a bridge or implant. It is important to act quickly, as left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding area, causing more pain and damaging the gum and jaw. 


Do You Have a Dead Tooth & Need Help?
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Common Questions in Relation to Dead Teeth

How Do I Know If I Have a Dead Tooth?
Can a Dead Tooth Be Whitened?
Will a Dead Tooth Just Fall Out By Itself?
Can a Dead Tooth Be Saved?
Will Dead Tooth Pain Go Away If I Leave it?