It’s a crime scene most dentists don’t like looking at. It’s very dark with ugly shades of yellow, gray, and black covering what was once, pearly white. The roots are rotted, the enamel eroded.
It had so much life left. But, in the end, decay and a deep cavity got the best of it and took its life. Yes, you have a dead tooth. Nobody wants to hear they have a dead tooth. They attribute those words with a painful extraction and possible problems afterwards.
So what exactly causes a tooth to die?
Decay & Trauma: Teeth’s Worst Nightmare
It may have been from eating too many sweets or experiencing that unlucky bounce in a softball game where the ball came up and smacked you right in the mouth. Either way, a dead tooth comes from two primary causes.
- Tooth decay – in other words, you have a cavity. The first sign is that painful, mind numbing sensation you get when that delicious scoop of ice cream makes its way into a crevasse in your tooth and you scream bloody murder. Bacteria has made its way into your tooth causing the nerve (pulp) to die.
- Trauma – sports injuries are the number one culprit. Kids falling off monkey bars is one of those common occurrences. Teeth grinding during sleep is another great way to traumatize your teeth. You get a dead tooth from the tooth being knocked so hard that the blood supply is severed.
To Remove or Fix? That is the Question
Your dead tooth has reached a point beyond repair. Just because it’s dead, doesn’t mean you can just leave it alone. A dead tooth is a perfect spot for bacteria to make its home and cause you pain and a picket fence smile.
Simply put, you have two options: remove or fix it. Removing the tooth may be the most cost effective solution now, but in the long run, you will still have to replace it. That can get expensive. You can also choose to have a root canal.
Back in the day, root canals were almost considered a dirty word due to the unwanted association with extreme pain. In today’s world, a root canal can be painless and a great way to go, especially if you want to hang on to that pearly white.
Call our dental practice in Boise today for more information on our root canal process or to make an appointment for a consultation!