Treatment for a Dead Tooth

Causes and Treatment for a Dead Tooth

Treatment for a dead toothIf you’ve ever been woken up by a sharp and shooting pain in a tooth, you know just how miserable it can be to deal with a toothache. A toothache can occur from decay, which will lead to a dead tooth. As your go-to emergency dentist in Georgetown, KY, we know just how important it is to address the pain you are feeling, as soon as is possible. You may be in need of root canal therapy, which can potentially salvage the tooth. In this article, we explore the causes and treatment of a dead tooth

Causes of a Dead Tooth

Each tooth has three layers. The external enamel, the dentin, and the pulp which contains the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. In order to remain viable, even with significant decay, a tooth will need to have a continuous supply of blood to the pulp. If the blood supply is cut off or somehow damaged, the tooth will begin to die. This is often referred to as a necrotic tooth. If this condition is left untreated, it will typically result in an infection or abscess in the tooth. 

But just what can cause a dead tooth? At our Georgetown dental clinic, we are often asked this. There are several potential concerns that can result in the death of the tooth.

If the tooth sustains trauma, such as what would be experienced during sports or a fall, there may be damage that impacts the blood flow to the tooth. If you’ve experienced any direct impacts on your teeth, keep in mind that we are a dentist open 7 days a week to meet your oral healthcare needs. 

A lack of positive and consistent oral hygiene habits can lead to decay in the tooth. Cavities may start small, but they can lead to serious decay that can impact the soft tissue of the tooth’s pulp. This can result in an infection and, ultimately, tooth death. Healthy tooth pulp will do its part to fight the bacteria, but the longer that the inflammation continues unchecked, the more likely that it is that the tooth will die.

Signs of a Dead Tooth

How do you know that you may have a dead tooth? There are some signs to be aware of, each of which could just mean it’s time to call us, your dentist in Georgetown, KY. 

  • Discomfort and serious pain. This is typically the first sign that you have some type of damage to the tooth. The pain can range from minor irritation to exceptionally excruciating. This is due to the infection that is inside of the tooth, placing pressure onto the sensitive nerves around the tooth.
  • Swelling in the tooth’s periodontal member may also be indicative of an infection taking hold.
  • Tooth discoloration can become a concern. The tooth can change in color as a result of the loss of blood supply. The tooth may change colors through different phases of its dying. It could turn yellow, gray, and ultimately black.
  • Bad breath, along with a bad taste in your mouth, may become a reality, as a result of the infection.
  • Inflammation or signs of a sore on the gum, which is indicative of an abscess. This also may be a sign of gum disease. Your dentist will be able to confirm this for you.

How to Treat a Dead Tooth?

It is important that you seek out treatment for any type of tooth pain. The sooner that a dying tooth is treated, the higher the odds are that the tooth may be salvageable. Dr. Ben Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA, says that at the very least, the infection may be preventable.

At your appointment, your dentist will have the tooth X-rayed, in order to get a good idea as to the degree of the damage that is inside of the tooth. This will help to dictate the direction of your treatment plan.

Generally speaking, there are two types of treatment for a dead tooth. Root canal therapy, and extraction of the dead tooth. Early intervention can help to stave off the complete extraction of the tooth. However, if it cannot be saved, it will need to be extracted in order to keep the infection in check. Patients are often concerned about the missing tooth, and the gap in their smile. The good news is that we offer a number of options for tooth replacement Georgetown, KY patients can appreciate.

Regular checkups to your dentist are an important part of keeping your whole mouth healthy. With routine checkups, your Georgetown KY dentist will be able to spot any cavities and other potential concerns in their early stages. Therefore, this can help to avoid the need for root canal therapy and help to keep the teeth from needing to be extracted when they die.

There’s no time like right now to call and schedule your next checkup and professional cleaning.