Uncover the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments of a Dead Tooth!
A dead tooth, also known as a necrotic tooth, is a tooth that has lost its blood supply and nerve function. This can happen due to various causes, such as injury, decay, gum disease, medical conditions such as diabetes, smoking and poor oral hygiene. A dead tooth can cause a variety of problems, including pain, infection, and tooth loss. The symptoms of a dead tooth can vary, but they may include pain, discolouration, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and a bad taste in the mouth. See a dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you have a dead tooth, as it can lead to severe infection if left untreated.
The most common treatment for a dead tooth (or dying tooth) is a root canal; this procedure removes the infected or dead pulp and nerve of the tooth and then fills and seals the tooth to prevent further infection.
Probable Causes of a Dead Tooth
Several factors, including injury, decay, or gum disease can cause dead teeth. Trauma to the tooth can cause the blood supply to be cut off, leading to a dead tooth. Decay can also cause the tooth’s pulp to die, leading to a dead tooth. Gum disease can also cause the bone supporting the tooth to be destroyed, leading to a dead tooth. In addition, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, smoking and poor oral hygiene can also lead to a dead tooth. The tooth can also die if it is cracked, chipped or if the filling is loose, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth and infect the pulp. A dead tooth can also happen if a tooth is not properly cared for after a root canal treatment.
What are the Symptoms of a Dead Tooth?
The symptoms of a dead tooth can vary, but they may include the following:
- Pain or discomfort in the tooth, especially when you bite down or chew. This pain can be sharp, dull or constant.
- Swelling in the gums around the affected tooth.
- Discolouration of the tooth, which can appear grey, brown or black.
- A bad taste in the mouth or a metallic taste.
- Bad breath or a foul smell from the affected tooth.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, sweets or pressure.
- A cracked or broken tooth can also be a sign of a dead tooth.
- A dental abscess or a pimple-like bump on the gums near the affected tooth indicates an infection.
We advise you to see a dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you have a dead tooth, as it can lead to a severe infection if left untreated. A dentist can diagnose if the tooth is dead or not by examining the tooth, taking X-rays and performing a pulp test.
Treatment Options for a Dead Tooth
The treatment of a dead tooth depends on the cause of the tooth’s death and the damage’s extent. Sometimes, a dentist may recommend a root canal to remove the dead pulp and save the tooth. This procedure involves removing the infected or dead pulp, cleaning and shaping the canals, filling them with a rubber-like material, and sealing the tooth. This helps to save the tooth and prevent the spread of infection. After the root canal, a dentist will usually place a crown on top of the tooth to protect it and restore the function of the tooth.
Another option for treating a dead tooth is tooth extraction. This is recommended when the tooth is too damaged to be saved with a root canal or if the infection has spread to the surrounding bone. The extraction can be done by a general dentist or an oral surgeon, depending on the case’s complexity.
Sometimes, a dead tooth may be treated with antibiotics to clear up any infection, but it will still require a root canal or extraction.
Discussing the treatment options with a dentist for all common oral diseases will help to determine the best course based on the individual case is the best course of action.
Schedule an Appointment Today
We offer same-day visits and late opening hours that work around your schedule. Contact our friendly, caring team today to book a time to examine a tooth that has lost its white appearance and appears to be ‘dead’. We’re providers with Medibank, HCF and MDF. You can claim your health fund rebate on the spot with our HICAPS machine.
* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.
Common Questions & Answers About Dead Teeth
What causes a dead tooth?
Various factors, including injury, decay, or gum disease can cause a dead tooth. Trauma to the tooth can cause the blood supply to be cut off, leading to a dead tooth. Decay can also cause the tooth’s pulp to die, leading to a dead tooth. Gum disease can also cause the bone supporting the tooth to be destroyed, leading to a dead tooth.
Can a dead tooth be saved?
In some cases, a dead tooth can be saved with a root canal treatment, which involves removing the dead pulp and nerve of the tooth and then filling and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection. However, if the tooth is too damaged, it may need to be extracted.
What are the symptoms of a dead tooth?
The symptoms of a dead tooth may include pain or discomfort, discolouration, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and a bad taste in the mouth.
Can Brighton Dental Suite treat a Dead Tooth, and how much will the treatment cost?
Brighton Dental Suite in Brisbane offers different treatments for a dead tooth, such as tooth extraction, root canal treatment, and crown. The cost of tooth extraction starts from $250, while the cost of a root canal treatment ranges from $800 to $2,500, depending on the complexity of the case and the tooth involved. The cost of a crown starts from $1,893, but the actual cost may vary depending on the specific issue and materials used. It’s best to consult with the dentist directly to get an accurate estimate of the cost and to determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.
How long does it take to recover from a root canal for a dead tooth?
Recovery time from a root canal procedure for a dead tooth will depend on the individual case and the complexity of the procedure. Typically, patients can expect some mild discomfort for a few days following the procedure.
Can a dead tooth cause infection
Yes, if bacteria enters a dead tooth, it can cause an infection. This can cause pain, swelling, and a bad taste in the mouth.
What treatments are available for a dead tooth?
Generally, the best course of action is to see a dentist who will x-ray the tooth to assess the damage. They may recommend either a root canal or tooth removal as a form of treatment, or in some cases, an infected dead tooth requires the immediate removal of the infection before any form of treatment can be administered. Extraction may be necessary if the tooth has already rotted down to its root and cannot be saved. Surgery may be necessary to remove the dead tooth, during which your dentist will make an incision in the gums to get to the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, the area may need to be stitched up to reduce bleeding and promote healing. A restoration may be required to maintain the mouth’s structural stability.
How can I prevent a dead tooth in the future?
Regular dental hygiene, brushing twice daily and avoiding sugary snacks or drinks are all good habits that can help stop a dead tooth ever arising. Additionally, scheduling regular dental visits for check-ups and cleanings are key components to having a healthy and happy mouth.
Our Thoughts on Those with Dead Teeth
In conclusion, a dead tooth is a tooth that has lost its blood supply and nerve function. It can cause a variety of problems, including pain, infection, and tooth loss. Treatment options for a dead tooth may include a root canal, extraction, or antibiotics. If you suspect you have a dead tooth, we recommend contacting your dentist.