Reasons Tooth Nerves Die
Posted on 5/29/2020 by Metropolitan Dental Specialty Group
During a dental checkup, some people find that they have a dead nerve in their tooth. But as scary as that may sound, there's no need to panic. A dead nerve in your tooth doesn't mean you will lose your tooth. your doctor and your doctor of Metropolitan Dental Specialty Group can save your non-vital tooth by performing the necessary treatment.
How Do Tooth Nerves Die?
The inner chamber of your tooth consists of pulp tissue, which comprise of tooth nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. The pulp provides the nutrition to your tooth and keeps it alive.
When bacteria penetrate the hard shell of the enamel and attach the dentin — the softer underlying yellowish layer of tooth — which sends pain signals to warn you about the infection. Once the bacteria reach the dentin, it can quickly spread to the pulp chamber.
Although the pulp chamber is a sterile environment, once invaded by bacteria, it can become infected. The pulp chamber cannot heal on its own. If the pulp tissue remains irritated for a long time, the reduced blood supply will make the tooth nerve die.
Aside from decay, a trauma to the face, repeated invasive dental procedures, and clenching your teeth hard can all result in damage to the tooth pulp, making it inflamed. The pressure from the swollen blood vessels will result in pain when you bite down. Extreme sensitivity is also a sign of a dead or dying nerve.
What is an Abscessed Tooth?
When the tooth nerve dies, it is followed by the development of a painful pus-filled cavity at the tip of the root. This is your body's defense mechanism to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas. You may see a pimple-like fistula on your gum that allows the pus to drain out. This will release the pressure in your tooth but can leave a foul taste in your mouth.
An abscessed tooth can cause serious infection in other parts of your body but since it is very painful, many people get treatment for it right away.
Treatment Options for an Infected Tooth
Although the dead tooth nerve cannot be revived, the tooth can still be saved by root canal therapy. The procedure involves boring a hole in the infected tooth, cleaning out the dead tooth nerve, pulp, and decay from the tooth, disinfecting the tooth, and then sealing it so it cannot be re-contaminated.
Without the nerve, the tooth will still live by deriving nourishment from the surrounding soft tissue. However, a non-vital tooth is weakened so we will recommend protecting your tooth with a crown.
Maintaining good oral hygiene, protecting your tooth from injury, and never missing dental checkup appointments, can prevent a dead nerve in your tooth. If you suspect your tooth is infected, call us at (301) 585-0400 to schedule an appointment.