To understand how a tooth can die, it is first important to understand what gives a tooth its life. Teeth are made up of three different layers that all work together to protect the teeth and keep them healthy. The tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and it protects the inner dentin and pulp layers of the teeth. The dentin and pulp layers provide life to a tooth, housing the blood vessels and nerve fibers that connect it to the rest of the body. A dead tooth is a tooth that has been severed from its life source, no longer receiving its blood supply.
Causes of a dead tooth all revolve around the inner layers of the teeth being damaged so that their life supply is cut off. Trauma or injury to the mouth often causes instant death to a tooth. Receiving blunt force trauma to the mouth can knock the roots of a tooth loose. If the roots are severed from their blood supply and unable to reconnect, the tooth will die because it will lose blood flow. Severe trauma is the most common cause of a dead tooth. However, there are instances when a tooth that has been knocked out or knocked loose can be reconnected, so it is essential that you receive emergency dental care as quickly as possible.
The other common cause for a dead tooth is tooth decay that has severely progressed. When cavities and dental infections are allowed to fester inside the mouth, they can reach the inner layers of the teeth and cause irreparable damage deep within the teeth. Most people are aware of the issue because tooth sensitivity and pain will be felt as the infection continues. As the infection reaches the pulp of the tooth and is left untreated, it will “zap” the nerves and blood vessels and cut it off from its blood supply.
While dental trauma is typically unavoidable, cavities and decay can be prevented with proper oral health care. At Crabapple Dental we are here to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. We want to help you avoid a dead tooth in every way that we can. However, if you do have a dead tooth we provide comprehensive and comfortable treatment to restore the health of your mouth. Call us today.