Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

Is It Safe to Keep a Dead Tooth?

Do you suspect that one of your teeth has died? Is it even possible for a tooth to die? Although not many people are aware of this, teeth are much more than just blocks of enamel. Inside each tooth is a bundle of nerves. These nerves receive blood, nutrients and oxygen from the rest of the body. However, if infection or trauma severs this connection, the tooth dies.

If a tooth dies, the biological tissue inside it will begin to rot. And eventually, the tooth will turn grey. However, it could take years for a dead tooth to turn grey. But can you just leave a dead tooth in your mouth? Will any complications ever occur because you just left the dead tooth alone?

Dead Teeth Don't Always Get Infected

If you have spotted a tooth in your mouth that has been turning grey for months or years, then the cause of its death was probably trauma. At some time in the past, due to an accident of some kind, you may have banged the tooth and damaged the nerve in the process. Tooth nerves don't always die immediately, but once they do, the tooth begins to turn grey.

The greyness is a result of the lack of blood flow and nutrients to the tooth. A healthy tooth receives a constant stream of replenishment from the body. If trauma caused your tooth to die, and there is no break in the tooth's surface, then the tooth will not get infected immediately. However, don't forget that the tooth still contains biological material that bacteria can feed on.

So, while you could keep a dead, grey tooth, the best option would be to see a dentist for a root canal. Once that procedure is complete, you can seek out a cosmetic dentist to use veneers or composite bonding to restore the tooth's original whiteness.

A Compromised Tooth is a Dangerous Tooth

If your tooth is dead and has a crack or break in its surface, then it is only a matter of time before oral bacteria invade it. Once that happens, you'll be in for a painful and dangerous infection that could cause swelling and inflammation around the affected tooth. Moreover, if a dental abscess forms around the tooth's root, the pus, which is poisonous to your body, will seep out.

That pus could then destroy the bone and the soft tissues surrounding the dead tooth and the teeth adjacent to it. So, if you think your tooth has died, get it checked by a dentist before you decide whether you should keep it or not. If you act quickly, your tooth can be treated without the need for extraction.

Contact a dentist for more information or to set an appointment.