A matter of life or (tooth) death

Is my tooth dead or does it just need some TLC (Treatment, Love and Care)?

You may not think of your tooth as “alive, but they are. And as with any living thing, it takes some care to keep them alive.

Recently a patient told us that she was scared to come in because she feared her tooth was dead. She was worried about losing her tooth and what it may cost to have an implant or other restorative measures taken. So she put off going to see the dentist until it was (almost) too late.

Don’t do that.

As with everything, knowledge is power and the sooner you take action, the more likely it is to save your tooth.

What’s a dead tooth?

A dying nerve in the pulp can lead to a dead tooth. But you likely have to deal with pain, trouble chewing, discoloration of the tooth, bad breath or other issues before that happens. Don’t let it get to that point.

That’s when your dentist will suggest a root canal. During a root canal procedure the soft tissue (nerves and blood vessels) and bacteria and toxins in the root of the tooth are removed. The resulting empty space is shaped and cleaned, then filled and the tooth is restored. Root canals today are standard procedures that are safe and thanks to medication nearly painless.

Don’t self-diagnose your toothache

Sometimes there are people who exhibit symptoms of a dead tooth, but may just have a cavity or  tooth needing a slight adjustment or other easily treatable problem. Don’t self-diagnose and pronounce your tooth dead. Let a dentist take a look at it. It may be a viable tooth that simply needs a bit of  treatment.

Prevention saves (tooth) lives

Apart from good oral hygiene and regular checkups, being proactive if you notice any issue with your teeth is a very important form of prevention. Only if we catch it in time, we can treat the problem and preserve the tooth. Moreover, when left untreated, the infection from a dead tooth can affect the surrounding teeth and structures.

Schedule a consultation today!