Mar 29, 2021
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Dead tooth. When is it called that and is there anything you can do about it?

Teeth are traditionally perceived as a solid object, but at the same time alive. After all, everyone knows that they have nerve endings that can become inflamed and painful. Many people are also familiar with the procedure for removing nerves from a tooth. At the same time, having heard the combination “dead tooth”, people begin to panic. After all, what this option means by itself, they do not understand – it often seems that the dead in the characterization portends a quick removal.

“Dead tooth is a conventional name. In dentistry, this is the name of the tooth in which the pulp has been removed, that is, the living tissue that is located in the root of the tooth and in its coronal part, ”notes dentist, head physician of the dental clinic Ilya Antonov

As the specialist explains, the pulp consists of several parts:

  • nerve endings;
  • blood vessels;
  • lymphatic vessels.

All of them are designed to carry out nutrition of the tooth and the exchange of substances between it and the body for normal life, strength and health.

When does a tooth die?

The question: when a tooth dies and what it is fraught with, naturally worries many. “When caries has destroyed the core part of the tooth deeply, then bacteria penetrate into the pulp, infect it, and inflammation begins, and then the pulp decays,” the dentist notes. This is the beginning of the end for the tooth. “In order to prevent the spread of inflammation to the surrounding tissues, the doctor cleans the tooth and its roots from the inside with special tools and medications, and then fills the resulting voids with special filling materials,” Ilya Antonov notes. Then a filling or crown is placed on top of the tooth – the doctor decides on the optimal coverage, based on the degree of tooth decay. Such a tooth becomes “dead”.

Previously, as the dentist notes, such options were immediately removed. Today the approach has changed somewhat. “It can be pulped and left in the mouth,” stresses the dentist. In this case, the tooth naturally loses its strength, says Ilya Antonov.

At the same time, of course, it is impossible to call a tooth completely not alive, says Ilya Antonov. “It is necessary to take into account the fact that the tooth is outside surrounded by a ligamentous apparatus, which is connected on one side with the bone, and on the other side with the root of the tooth. You can imagine this as a kind of flagella between the root and bone. There are many of them, and among them there are also blood vessels and nerve endings, which continue to partially nourish the tooth. So he cannot be called completely dead. But it is also impossible to revive it – the pulp cannot be put back, ”says Ilya Antonov.

What happens to such a tooth?

“Of course, such a tooth ceases to receive the necessary microelements, its resistance to bacteria is impaired, and over time it becomes fragile. But at the same time it is worth understanding that such processes do not proceed with lightning speed, but proceed very slowly, and such a tooth can stand in the oral cavity for many, many years, ”notes Ilya Antonov.

Of course, certain hygiene rules will help to preserve even a dead tooth – regular and correct teeth brushing, the use of additional oral care products on the recommendation of a doctor, as well as preventive examinations by a doctor according to the approved rules of dental clinical examination.

The reasons that the pulp dies

There are many reasons why the pulp perishes. Most often, it is removed when pulpitis has already developed, the nerve is inflamed, it is no longer beneficial, but only the cause of torment (after all, this situation leads to the development of severe pain) and a focus of infection. It is important to understand that an attempt to endure the pain from pulpitis can also destroy a tooth, when a person uses various painkillers that relieve discomfort, but at the same time do not stop the destructive process.

Also on the list of reasons why the pulp dies are injuries. For example, if a person hit his jaw hard, and after that did not visit the doctor, leaving everything as it is. Against the background of such a situation, painful sensations often persist for some time, and then gradually subside, while the tooth inside dies.

External difference

Doctors note that a tooth devoid of pulp can often be recognized by its external signs. So, for example, immediately after the living tissue has been removed from it, it may acquire a grayish tint, which will become darker over time. In addition, such a tooth stops responding to cold and hot. Of the minuses, one can single out the fact that even if such a tooth damages caries, a person may not feel the destructive processes in a timely manner, since due to the lack of nerve endings, he simply will not feel pain. In addition, such a tooth gradually begins to decay and crumble over time.

Why can soreness develop in a dead tooth?

Many are also interested in the question: why sometimes a tooth without pulp can give a painful sensation. After all, in theory, it is not a nerve that gives this very pain. However, it is worth remembering what Ilya Antonov notes when talking about the tissues and blood vessels surrounding the tooth. If inflammation of the tissues around the dead tooth appears, it can affect quite large areas and lead to painful sensations already in the gums. It is worth treating teeth with trusted specialists, often using a microscope, in order to understand in detail the state of a pulped tooth and the appearance of pain in it. This is the only way to guarantee a good result and a longer life even for an option that seems to be devoid of living tissues.

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