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Drs. Justison And Gladnick
Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Wilmington, DE
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How Do Teeth Die?

March 23, 2018
Posted By: Mark C. Gladnick, DDS
Dentist with Patient | Top Dentist in Wilmington DE

It’s not always easy to tell if a tooth is dead or not. Sometimes there is pain associated with a dead tooth, but often there is not. In general, a dead tooth will change in color as the red blood cells in the tooth root die off. Your tooth will eventually become grey or black.

The only way to know for sure if a tooth is dead is to visit your Wilmington, DE dentist. Dr. Mark Gladnick can assess your tooth and also advise you on the best options for treatment.

How Do Teeth Die?

There are usually two reasons a tooth dies: tooth decay or trauma.

If you have a cavity in your tooth that goes untreated, the decay can eat its way through the tooth and eventually reach the pulp. Your body will try to fight off the infection, but it’s usually a losing battle. Eventually, blood flow to the tooth will stop. While all this is going on, you will likely have an excruciating toothache.

The other reason for a dead tooth is trauma to the tooth, which can cause blood vessels to burst. Blood flow to the affected tooth can stop, starving the nerve and other living tissues in your tooth root.

How Do You Treat a Dead Tooth?

It’s crucial that you get treatment immediately if you suspect your tooth is dying. Treatment recommendations might include:

  • A root canal—This much-feared dental treatment is really not much worse than getting a dental filling. With this procedure, your dentist will clean out the damaged pulp from the affected tooth, and cap it with a dental crown.
  • Tooth extraction—Always the treatment of last resort, your dead tooth might have to be extracted. Be sure to talk to your dentist about replacement tooth options.

Diagnostic Dentistry in Wilmington DE

If you suspect you have a tooth that is dead or dying, don’t put off dental treatment. Call Wilmington, DE dentist Dr. Mark Gladnick right away!

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