Can A Dead Tooth Be Saved: Causes, Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

dead tooth

Can a dead tooth be saved? What are the main causes of dead teeth?

By understanding the causes and treatments for dead teeth, you will be able to maintain your smile’s allure and keep it looking its best for years to come. 

Here at The Chicago Dental Studio, our team of dental professionals are passionate about doing dentistry in an efficient and patient-focused manner. From the moment you arrive at our studio, our priority is your dental health and comfort.

Continue reading to learn more about our boutique dental studio or get in touch with our team to schedule an appointment today.

What is a Dead Tooth?

First things first, what is a dead tooth?

All teeth have three layers — the enamel, dentin, and pulp (which is the part that contains blood vessels and nerves).

When a tooth dies, it is no longer receiving a fresh supply of blood — causing the tooth to become discolored, experience pain (in the tooth or gum), along with other unpleasant symptoms (further discussed below).

Because dead teeth are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and far from aesthetic, individuals encountering this problem should seek out quality dental care as soon as they can to remedy the issue.

What Causes a Tooth to Die?

Now that you’re familiar with what a dead tooth is, let’s answer the question, what causes a dead tooth?

There are two primary reasons that cause a dead tooth. These are tooth decay (rotten teeth) and tooth trauma (when a physical trauma causes the blood vessels to burst or be cut off). Regardless of the manner in which the dead tooth was created, the symptoms will remain similar for either cause.

The following section contains a more in-depth look into some of the main dead tooth symptoms.

7 Signs of a Dead Tooth

What are dead tooth symptoms that I should be on the lookout for? If you are concerned that you may have a dead tooth, seven of the main signs of a dead tooth are:

  1. Tooth discoloration
  2. Tooth or gum pain
  3. Tooth sensitivity
  4. Sensitivity to temperatures (hot or cold)
  5. Bad breath
  6. Bad taste in your mouth
  7. Gum swelling

Treatment Options For a Dead Tooth

What are the treatment options for a dead tooth? Can a dead tooth be saved if I visit a dentist?

The two main dead tooth treatment options are:

  • Root canal therapy. A root canal is the only way to save a dead tooth and involves removing the pulp and cleaning the site to prevent infections. Once the pulp has been removed and the area thoroughly cleansed, a filling will be placed in the opening and the roots will be sealed.
  • Extraction. If your dead tooth cannot be saved with a root canal, your only other option is to have it removed completely. In the event that you need an extraction, a replacement tooth (dental implant) will be placed in the space where the dead tooth was.

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9 Tips For Preventing a Dead Tooth

Now that you know the two main causes of dead teeth (trauma and decay), you will be able to pinpoint and avoid the things that can put you at risk for developing a dead tooth.

As physical decay is the only cause that you can make lifestyle changes to actively prevent, here are nine things that you can do to prevent a dead tooth.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
  2. Floss your teeth everyday.
  3. Use a high-quality fluoride toothpaste to strengthen and protect your teeth.
  4. Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily.
  5. Drink water after each meal or snack to wash down bacteria from your teeth between brushings.
  6. Avoid eating sugary foods or carbonated beverages as these can cause tooth decay.
  7. Wear a mouthguard to prevent trauma to your teeth due to grinding (bruxism).
  8. Maintain a healthy diet.
  9. Visit your dentist every six months so that you’re able to catch dental issues before they escalate.


Contact a Modern Dental Studio With Your Dentistry Needs

Here at The Chicago Dental Studio, our dental professionals are passionate about tailoring your dental experience to your unique needs and desires.

Whether you are in need of a root canal, tooth extraction, or general dental care, our contemporary dental studio would be delighted to meet your dental needs with integrity and professionalism.

Get in touch with The Chicago Dental Studio today to schedule your first appointment at our luxury dental studio or to speak with one of our staff about your dental needs.