What is a Dead Tooth?
Teeth consist of three separate layers that work together to keep the teeth alive.
The tooth enamel is the hard, white layer that is visible when you show off your smile. The tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and it protects the two inner layers of the tooth: the dentin and the pulp.
The dentin and the pulp house the living layers of each tooth. These two inner layers consist of living tissue, nerve fibers, and blood vessels that supply life to the teeth. If the inner layer of the tooth is damaged and becomes separated from the life supply, the tooth will die.
There are two main causes of a dead tooth – dental trauma and a bacterial infection.
Dental trauma can occur during a sports accident, a car crash, blunt force trauma, or any other injury to the face. When blunt force of any type disrupts the inner layers of a tooth, it can cause permanent injury to the blood vessels.
Because the blood vessels supply life, when they are severed through a tooth being knocked out of its socket, the tooth will die. Most of the time, a tooth will die immediately when it is cut off from its life support. However, with immediate dental intervention, a tooth can sometimes be saved because it may reconnect to the blood vessels. This can only be a possibility with immediate dental attention, so if you receive any trauma to your face see your dentist straightaway.
A bacterial infection can cause irreversible damage to a tooth if it is allowed to progress.
Dental cavities begin as small holes in the teeth caused by acid-producing bacteria that eat their way through the enamel. Usually, a cavity is filled and there are no other serious ramifications. However, cavities that are ignored and do not receive prompt and proper treatment can fester and cause serious damage.
If the bacteria are allowed to linger, they will eat their way through all three layers of a tooth. Once they reach the pulp of the tooth, which houses the blood vessels, they will cause so much damage that the blood vessels will be severed and the tooth will die.
This entire dental decay process takes time, and there are many warning signs along the way such as pain and extreme sensitivity. In order to prevent a dead tooth from occurring due to dental decay, no cavities or dental issue should be ignored.
At Azure Dental, we are here to help you achieve and maintain a healthy mouth. If you are worried that you have a dead tooth, please contact us right away so that we can provide necessary intervention before more damage occurs. We are here for you.