What to Do With a Dead Tooth

What to Do With a Dead Tooth

If you recently had a tooth infection or a cavity, and you did not get it treated in time, it may have spread to the root of your tooth. When this occurs, a root canal procedure is necessary to stop the infection from spreading further. After you have had a root canal procedure, that tooth is now a dead tooth. When the blood no longer flows to your tooth, it is a dead tooth.

At Pearl Dental, we offer root canals and other dental emergency services for patients dealing with an infection or pain. As an emergency dentist in Pomona, we are here for you. When your tooth has been deadened or has died through other means, there are a few different options for what you can do with it. In some cases, you can leave it in your mouth, and in other cases, another restorative dentistry option might be better for you.

What Makes a Tooth Dead?

A tooth dies when its nerves have been damaged, and there is no longer a steady supply of blood flowing to it.

How exactly does this happen?

This can happen in many different ways. You can experience a dead tooth due to physical trauma to the face, in which parts of your mouth are damaged. You may end up damaging the pulp – the innermost layer of the tooth – therefore damaging its nerves and cells. The most common reason for a dead tooth, however, is tooth decay.

Once the tooth is dead, it might fall out on its own. However, it is recommended that you have the dead tooth removed as quickly as possible, so you reduce the risk of spreading an infection to the rest of your mouth.

Symptoms of a Dead Tooth

When you and your dentist are trying to identify a dead tooth, it can be easy to spot the source of the issue if you are experiencing the following two symptoms:

Color Change

Your tooth will become discolored quite quickly after it has died. In most cases, it turns a darker color, and it can even look black, gray, or yellow.

Why the change in color? This occurs when the red blood cells are dying.


You will likely experience a degree of pain when dealing with a tooth infection that advances to the pulp of your tooth. However, it is almost impossible to tell how much pain you will experience. Some patients are in a lot of pain, and others feel no pain at all.

Best Treatment Options for a Dead Tooth

If your tooth has died due to trauma, decay, or a root canal procedure, you are likely wondering what happens next. Does the dead tooth just stay in your mouth and continue functioning like a tooth? Or, is it better to replace the dead tooth with an implant or crown to prevent further decay from happening?

The answer depends on the nature of your deadened tooth and what symptoms you are experiencing. The first thing that will happen is that a technician will take an X-ray of your teeth, so it is easy to identify the source of the decay.

Afterward, your dentist will either recommend tooth extraction or a root canal.

If you have your tooth extracted, you can fill the gap in your teeth with a bridge or an implant. A successful root canal can allow you to leave your dead tooth in your mouth without any risk of opening the infection again.

Take Care of Your Teeth Today

As a top dentist in Pomona, we want to help patients get rid of pain and irritation to promote a healthy and happy mouth. When your tooth has died, you must invest in an extraction or root canal procedure as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of letting the infection spread to the rest of your mouth.

Get in touch with our friendly dentists today and schedule an appointment to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Your mouth will thank you!

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