How Long Can a Dead Tooth Stay in Your Mouth?
Did you know that your teeth are actually alive? This means it is possible for your teeth to die as well.Tooth death is most commonly caused by physical trauma such as deep caries or fracture.
It may be possible to restore dead teeth by applying root canal treatment, but it is important to know the anatomy of the tooth.
The tip of the tooth that can be seen in the open mouth is called the crown , the gums and the base of the teeth embedded in the bone are called the root . Each tooth has three basic layers. The outer layer is called enamel and the inner layer around the root is called cementum . Inside these layers is the last layer, dentin . Beneath the dentin is the pulp , which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues .
People often refer to the pulp as the “nerve”. This is technically untrue because nerves and blood vessels are only partially present in the tooth and partially through the roots in the bones and gums. If the tooth layers crack or rot, the pulp can be damaged and this can lead to infection by fluid pressure, gases, pus or invading microbes. This will result in swelling and a lot of pain that marks the death of your tooth.
So how long can a dead tooth stay in your mouth?
The teeth that are called “dead” are given this name because they no longer bleed and therefore cannot sustain life. There are various terms for dead teeth, including “non-viable tooth” or “necrotic pulp”.
When a tooth dies, it’s only a matter of time before it falls out on its own. However, it is not a wise decision to let this happen as it can damage your other teeth and jaw and can actually be quite dangerous. Depending on the type and extent of the damage, it may take days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years for the tooth to fall out. This does not mean that you should wait for this to happen and it is highly recommended that you go to your dentist and have your tooth treated as soon as possible after you notice the death of your tooth.
It’s often impossible to tell if a tooth is dead just by looking at it, and it’s always better to have the dentist give you an accurate diagnosis than to guess or try to figure it out yourself. Two sure signs that you should have your teeth examined by the dentist are discomfort, pain, or discoloration or darkening of your teeth.
Pain usually means the pulp is infected or the dental nerve is dying. Many people think that once the nerve dies, you will not feel anything. This is not the case, as the pain comes from the nerve endings outside the tooth, not inside the tooth. These are called periodontal membranes .
How Long Does It Take for a Tooth to Die?
Once the tooth is damaged or decayed, it’s only a matter of time before it dies. Depending on how severe the damage is, the tooth may die within a few days or even months. Dark or discolored teeth are often the first sign that your tooth is about to erupt.
A healthy tooth should be a shade of white. Depending on how you protect your teeth on a daily basis, your teeth will be whiter or more yellowish. Coffee, red wine, tobacco products are just a few of the things that can darken your teeth. When consumed daily, all of these can have negative effects on your teeth.
If you have a dying tooth, it will look different from other teeth, turning more yellow, gray, light brown and in some cases black. When you experience any of these symptoms, instead of waiting for your tooth to die or fall out, you should definitely go to a dentist and have it treated before it gets too serious or causes more serious damage. A dead or dying tooth left in the mouth may not do much damage, but leaving it in the mouth for too long can cause other teeth to rot and even cause problems and undesirable conditions in your jaw.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat a Dead Tooth?
As we mentioned above, leaving an already dead or dying tooth in your mouth can cause further complications if the infection spreads. But that’s not all. Some more immediate consequences include a shadowy appearance and bad breath. When a tooth dies, it is usually very visible, and if it is one of the foreground teeth, especially if it is a black tooth, it can give an unaesthetically irritating appearance. And no one wants to talk to someone with bad breath.
When the nerves loosen and die, you may need root canal treatment. It is a painless procedure consisting of a few simple steps. First of all, local anesthesia is applied to numb the area where root canal treatment will be performed. An opening is then created so that your dentist can access the area with the pulp. Then the pulp is removed, the channels are cleaned, a place is prepared for the filling, then the filling is done and the process is completed.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy, and taking care of your mouth daily can help you avoid dead teeth altogether.