What Is A Dead Tooth?

What Is A Dead Tooth?

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What Is A Dead Tooth?

What is a dead tooth?

Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for the health of your mouth, but as well as the general health of your body. Like what others say, your teeth are a reflection of your body’s health. Although you might not be aware of it, the combination of hard and soft tissue that makes up our teeth makes them alive. It helps us function in our daily lives by chewing food and fighting back against infections. 

In summary, a dead tooth is a tooth that no longer receives a fresh supply of blood because the tooth root is damaged or severed.

If left addressed, a dead tooth might lead to numerous unpleasant issues. In this article, we’ll cover what a dead tooth is, its causes, symptoms, treatments, and any other queries you may have.

What Causes a Tooth To Die?

There are two major reasons that cause a dead tooth: trauma and decay.


A dead tooth can be caused when the nerves in the pulp of the tooth become damaged or severed by trauma or injury.

For example, tripping and falling on your mouth, or being an athlete and accidentally getting hit in the mouth can cause the rupture of blood vessels and will stop providing blood to your teeth. This kind of trauma or injury can cause the nerve to die, which can lead to a dead tooth. A tooth may die right away, in a matter of days, or gradually over the course of months or years.


A dead tooth can also be caused by poor oral hygiene. If teeth aren’t properly cared for, this can lead to having cavities. If left untreated and ignored, this can slowly destroy your teeth. 

Cavities will gradually eat their way through the enamel and reach the pulp. The pulp of the tooth may suffer injury and infection if tooth decay is allowed to progress too far. When the pulp is infected, it swells up and puts pressure on the pulp, which eventually cuts off the blood supply and causes the tooth to die.

It is important that cavities are treated as soon as possible to prevent further tooth decay. This may cause swelling and pain once the decay gets to the pulp, which will indicate your tooth’s death.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Dead Tooth?

When a tooth stops receiving a fresh supply of blood, it is considered to be dead. One of the early indicators of a dying tooth for many people may be discoloration. Experiencing gum or tooth pain is another sign of a dying tooth.

Although the color of your teeth might change based on your diet and oral hygiene, healthy teeth are typically a shade of white. For instance, your teeth may appear off-white or light yellow if you routinely consume foods that stain, such as coffee, blueberries, or red wine, or if you smoke cigarettes. 

Your dying tooth will be a different color from the rest of your teeth if it is dying. Yellow, light brown, gray, or even black are all possible colors for dying teeth and the tooth may appear to be bruised. As the tooth continues to decay and the nerve dies, the discoloration will get worse over time.

Another potential sign is pain. Some people experience no pain at all. Some people experience minor discomfort, while others experience severe discomfort. The dying nerve is frequently to blame for the discomfort. An  infection could also be the reason for the pain.

Other symptoms of a dead tooth:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Gum swelling

Why You Shouldn’t Keep A Dead Tooth

Leaving a condition untreated is never a good idea, regardless of how little discomfort you get from a dead tooth or how little you care about the color change.

Dead teeth’s empty spaces make the ideal environment for bacteria and infection. Additionally, you can also develop a painful abscess, but both of these problems are avoidable with treatment.

Treatments For A Dead Tooth

Root Canal

A root canal is the preferred method of treating a dead tooth since it enables your dentist to keep the tooth rather than having to extract it.

Your dentist will attempt to clean out any infection from your tooth and tooth root during a root canal. The procedure involves the dentist creating a small opening in the tooth and using tiny instruments to extract the pulp and clear the infection. The roots will be filled and sealed, and a permanent filling will be put in the small opening after your dentist has completely removed the infection.

You may require a crown after a root canal. If the enamel was damaged or the tooth had a large filling, this might be a wise choice. A tooth that has undergone a root canal may become fragile over time. Due to chewing and grinding, crowns are typically advised for posterior teeth. In order to blend in with the rest of your teeth, a crown will be designed to match their natural color.

Even though a root canal process can be time-consuming, any discomfort or pain you feel will quickly go away. 


A dead tooth can be extracted or removed, which is a generally easy and painless procedure.

Depending on your decision or the recommendation of your dentist, you can anticipate receiving either local or general anesthetic for the procedure.

The tooth will typically be tightly gripped during extraction and then pulled from the gums. The tooth will be broken up into small fragments before being removed if the tooth is deeply impacted and a normal extraction procedure can’t be done.

You’ll need to get some rest after the procedure. The procedure can cause some bleeding, so make sure to prepare some gauze. Using and applying some ice packs can be useful for minimizing the pain. 

After the tooth is extracted, you can use an implant, denture, or bridge to replace the tooth. Discuss your options with your dentist.


Preventions For A Dead Tooth

Having a dead tooth is an awful experience. Prevention will always be better than any treatment, but sometimes it’s inevitable for things to happen. Being in an accident or having injuries to your tooth is impossible to predict and difficult to prevent, but there are definitely ways to reduce your risks of having a dead tooth:

  • Always practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth for at least twice a day.
  • Floss your teeth everyday.
  • Use high-quality fluoride toothpaste to strengthen and protect your teeth.
  • Use a mouthwash daily
  • Drink lots of water, especially after meals or snacks.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Avoid foods and drinks with lots of sugar that can cause tooth decay
  • During physical activities or sports, wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months for check up and cleaning


Dental cleaning for dead tooth

Are you feeling any discomfort or symptoms for a dead tooth near you in Wall Township?

Visit Dr. Avi Israeli of Sage Dental and Spa to check up on your teeth, and relieve the pain and discomfort you are feeling right now.

Call us to book a consultation today!





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Welcome to Sage Dental NJ and NJ Implant Doc, where we prioritize your health, comfort, and satisfaction above all else. Our patient-first approach ensures that every visit is a positive experience, with personalized care tailored to meet your unique needs. We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service, creating a warm and welcoming environment where you feel heard, respected, and valued.

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