Most of us have seen a dark tooth in our own mouth or in someone else’s mouth, but does a dark color always mean the tooth is dead? There are many reasons why a tooth may turn black, and the most common cause we see in our patients is the result of some type of trauma. When you hit your leg, you may experience a bruise, which is a pooling of blood from damaged blood vessels under the skin. Your teeth can also rot and react to trauma and impact damage.
Common Causes of Tooth Death
If this type of trauma happens to a tooth, bruising may occur as the blood cells inside the tooth leak out and seep into the pulp core of the tooth. This can take days or weeks, and in some cases it may take longer to appear due to the density of the tooth. This type of discoloration does not disappear like a bruise anywhere in the body due to the spongy nature of the internal tooth material. Often, trauma severe enough to discolor a tooth will be enough to cause permanent damage and therefore render the tooth “dead”.
Dental Care When You Need It Most
There are other things that can kill the nerves in the teeth and lead to the death of the affected teeth; the most common are infection, bacteria, loss of adjacent teeth, and complications from medical procedures. The reason why dead teeth are noticed and treated as soon as possible is because the dead teeth do not have circulation and are basically empty shells. Bacteria love warm dark areas and can multiply rapidly inside the dead tooth, and without blood flow the immune system can do almost nothing to fight the infection. The infection can also enter the bloodstream where it can spread throughout the body and cause life-threatening complications. While there are many common causes of tooth death, addressing and dealing with the problem is more important than trying to find out what caused the death in the first place.
Treat Causes of Tooth Death
Fortunately, treatment options are available for dead teeth, and if the problem is addressed sooner rather than later, it is possible to treat the area so that infection does not occur. If you suspect you have a dead tooth, our team of dental care professionals can help confirm the diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan for you. Ignoring a dead tooth is dangerous, and removing it not only puts the health of your teeth at risk, it can endanger your overall health as well. Don’t take this risk! To learn more about common causes of tooth death, how to prevent it, and what to do if it does occur, we invite you to contact us today and schedule your consultation.