by | Dec 8, 2018

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    • What Causes A Tooth To Die?
    • Identifying A Dead Tooth?
    • What Are The Most Common Treatments?
    • Why You Should Remove A Dead Tooth?
    • Conclusion
      • Related Posts

    A tooth is deemed dead or “non-vital” when blood no longer flows to it. This usually is the result of trauma or tooth decay.

    Having a dying or dead tooth remain for too long in the mouth can lead to serious health concerns. This makes it important to treat a dead or dying tooth as soon as you realize you have one.

    Left untreated, the bacteria that thrives from the dead tooth will spread and besides the health implications, it may also lead to the loss of additional teeth.

    What Causes A Tooth To Die?

    Even with the best of best dental hygiene and oral care, your tooth can still die. The first culprit is tooth cavities. A hard fall or sports injury can also cause your blood vessels to burst and cut off the blood supply going to your tooth.

    The nerves and other tissues will usually die because no blood is flowing to them. Once the dental pulp begins dying, bacteria will start feeding on the decaying tissue matter. The bacteria can thrive and cause intense pain in the hollowed tooth.

    Identifying A Dead Tooth?

    Although it’s not always an easy thing figuring out if you have a dead tooth, you can still start by doing a self-diagnosis. The two main symptoms are changes in color (tooth discoloration) and pain. Of course, even when matched together, these two symptoms can be true of other dental implications.  

    In this sense, only an orthodontist is in a position to determine the actual state of the tooth in question. If you are experiencing any form of discomfort or tooth pain, you should not delay but seek the help of a dentist. Often, a quick X-ray can reveal whether or not your tooth is dead.

    What Are The Most Common Treatments?

    Although nobody wants to get their teeth extracted , it may become your only option if treatment is not sought soon enough. For many dead tooth situations, root canal therapy is considered the best solution. This entails cleaning out any decaying and dead tissue. A root canal saves your tooth without having it extracted. 

    While it’s difficult and impossible to predict injuries or accidents to your tooth, there are many ways through which you can reduce the chances of your tooth dying such as good dental hygiene and oral health. In the first place, it’s more convenient, certainly less painful, to prevent a tooth from dying.

    Why You Should Remove A Dead Tooth?

    A dying or dead tooth can lead to different levels of pain. Removing the dead or dying tooth and replacing it with an implant may turn out to be the only option if you want to have a tooth. However, implants run at great cost in North America.


    By simply looking at your tooth, it may not always be that easy to identify if it’s dead or dying. Only a dental professional can successfully diagnose it which makes regular trips to your dentist vital. On your part, daily dental care is an important step if you want to avoid the death of your teeth.

    Author: Peter Mayhew

    Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.

    How long can I leave a broken tooth in my mouth?
    Once a tooth is damaged or decaying, it's only a matter of time before it dies. Depending on how heavy the damage, the tooth could die within a matter of days or even a couple of months. Darkened or discolored teeth are often the first sign that your tooth is on its way out. more
    How long does it take for stitches to dissolve in mouth after tooth extraction?
    After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non-resorbable, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the stitches for you. more
    How long should I rinse my mouth with salt water after tooth extraction?
    Mix a level teaspoon of salt into a cup of boiled, hot (but not scalding) water. Hold the salt water in the mouth for one minute and gently swish the solution around and then spit out. Repeat mouthwashes 3-4 times a day and after you have eaten to make sure your mouth remains clean. more
    How long can a tooth survive out of the mouth?
    The complete tooth needs to be replaced in the socket as soon as possible, ideally in under 30 minutes. But teeth have been successfully replaced up to 60 minutes after being knocked out. more
    How long do I keep the cotton in mouth after tooth extraction?
    Place a sterile piece of cotton ball or handkerchief on the extracted area. Bite on the piece of cotton or handkerchief firmly for at least 15 minutes. Replace cotton when necessary. If the bleeding doesn't stop after an hour or two, contact your dentist right away. more
    How long do tooth implants last?
    As mentioned above, dental implants last an average of 25 years. There are many reasons implants may last less than or longer than this average lifespan. more
    How long do I need to keep gauze in my mouth after tooth extraction?
    Keep gauze on the surgical area with some pressure (biting) for 30–45 minutes. Remove the gauze after 30–45 minutes and replace it with a new piece of gauze if you are still bleeding. It is important to make sure the gauze is directly on the surgical site. Firm pressure for another hour should stop the bleeding. more
    Can I leave a broken tooth in my mouth?
    Even if your broken tooth doesn't hurt, you shouldn't leave it untreated. There could be many more severe underlying issues that you are at increased risk of. One of the most alarming possible side effects of a broken tooth is that food detritus can get trapped inside, leading to bad infections. more
    Is broken tooth extraction painful?
    Teeth broken with nerve endings exposed can cause severe discomfort when exposed to air and cold or hot beverages. Pain from these broken teeth may be constant or come and go. It may also lead to other worse problems. Many have reported pain while chewing, as it puts more pressure on the teeth. more
    How long should I have cotton in my mouth after tooth extraction?
    Place a sterile piece of cotton ball or handkerchief on the extracted area. Bite on the piece of cotton or handkerchief firmly for at least 15 minutes. Replace cotton when necessary. If the bleeding doesn't stop after an hour or two, contact your dentist right away. more
    How long does it take to extract a broken tooth?
    If you're just having one tooth extracted, the entire process can be completed in 20-40 minutes. However, if you're having multiple teeth extracted, expect to spend a little more time in our office. Each additional tooth will take another 3-15 minutes of appointment time, depending on its location. more


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