Death occurs when any living being or substance no longer has access to its life supply. For your teeth, blood flow provides life, and when a tooth is cut off from the blood vessels supplying the blood your tooth is considered to be dead. A dead tooth is a serious dental concern – whether it occurred over time or as an immediate result to injury – and it should never be ignored.
The two main causes of a dead tooth are dental trauma and bacterial infection. As with most injuries, they are not planned and can cause a great deal of damage. A dental trauma to the mouth that causes a tooth to be knocked out of its socket or torn from the blood vessels keeping it connected to its blood supply can cause immediate death to a tooth. Inside each tooth there is the pulp, which contains nerve fibers and tiny blood vessels. The blood vessels allow the tooth to receive a constant blood supply so that it remains alive. When dental trauma cuts off blood supply, a tooth will almost instantly die. There are some circumstances when a tooth can be reconnected to the blood vessels, but it requires immediate dental intervention. Any type of dental trauma needs to be addressed by your dentist right away.
Bacterial infection within the mouth starts out as a tiny dental cavity. Cavities are caused when acid producing bacteria linger inside the mouth and the acids eat a small hole in the tooth. Cavities can be easily treated with a dental filling so that they do not cause further damage. However, when a cavity is ignored or not treated, the acid producing bacteria will continue to eat their way through the tooth until they reach the inner layers. When acids reach the pulp of the tooth, they will destroy the blood vessels and cut the tooth off from its life. A dead tooth that is caused by bacteria infection is usually painful, and there are warning signs (pain, discomfort, and sensitivity) that should not be ignored. Deep bacterial infection within a tooth will cause irreversible damage.
If you fear that you have a dead tooth, please contact Gainesville Dental Group right away. Dental trauma must be evaluated and addressed as quickly as possible for the best chance at full restoration. If you have any cavity or dental decay, we can address your issue to prevent permanent damage from a dead tooth. Call us today.
Posted on behalf of Gainesville Dental Group