Signs of a Dead Tooth and What to Do

You may not think of your teeth as alive, but each tooth in your mouth is very much a living thing, and just like any living thing, teeth can die. There are a few different things that cause the death of the tooth, but regardless of the cause, when this happens you definitely need to seek dental care as soon as possible.

What Is a Dead Tooth?

A dead tooth is one that has lost access to the blood supply coming from the vessels in its root. Without this blood supply, the tooth can no longer live and thrive as it should. This can happen suddenly in just a few hours, or it can happen over time in the course of weeks or months.

What Are the Signs of a Dead Tooth?

One of the most common signs of a dead tooth is discoloration, or darkening of the tooth. A dead or dying tooth can also cause pain. The nerves become extremely sensitive to cool or hot temperatures, and if not treated, infection can cause even more severe pain. You may also experience a bad taste in your mouth, swollen gums or an abscess in the gums near the tooth in question.

What Is the Treatment for a Dead Tooth?

Sometimes a dead tooth can be saved with a root canal. In a root canal, the dentist removes the damaged pulp from inside the tooth, fills the space and seals it. It may sound scary for some, but once the root canal is done, most patients actually find immense relief from the pain they’ve been in. If the tooth cannot be saved with a root canal, an extraction may be recommended, and a replacement tooth such as a dental implant will need to be placed in the extracted tooth’s place.

If you suspect you may have a dying or dead tooth, please call us today so we can help at 970-221-5115.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:


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2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado