Many people don't realize that a tooth can die, but each of your teeth are living things with their own blood supply. If your tooth no longer has access to adequate blood flow, the inner pulp could die, resulting in a dead tooth. If you suspect that your tooth has died, it is important to talk to your dentist right away.
What Causes a Dead Tooth?
There are two main causes of a dead tooth - trauma ad decay. Trauma could be caused by an injury, accident, or severe grinding, resulting in a severing of the blood supply at the root tip. This results in the death of the pulp. Decay could also result in a bacterial infection that can cause the nerve of the tooth to die.
What Are the Signs of a Dead Tooth?
In many cases, identifying a dead tooth isn't possible by just looking in your mouth, so it is crucial that you see your dentist regularly so that he can look for signs of a problem.
However, some people do experience symptoms, such as darkening of the tooth. A tooth that is suddenly gray, yellow, or black in color has likely died, and this discoloration results from bruising of the dying blood cells. Without treatment, this darkening of the tooth won't go away.
What Can You Do about a Dead Tooth?
Unfortunately, the treatment options for a dead tooth are pretty limited. A root canal can be completed to treat the infection and remove the decayed portion of the tooth. In other cases, your dentist might believe that extraction is the best solution.
Once your tooth is removed, you can use a bridge or dental implant in order to restore the appearance and function of your mouth.
The best way to deal with a dead tooth is to prevent it from occurring to begin with. Make sure you are properly caring for your teeth and getting regular dental cleanings in order to avoid this problem.