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What You Need to Know About a Dead Tooth

December 31, 2018


You may not know that your teeth are alive, but in fact, they are! The tooth is composed of three different layers – the enamel, dentin, and pulp. The pulp contains the blood vessels and nerve tissues that keep the tooth viable or ‘alive’. If the blood supply to the pulp is cut off, the tooth will no longer have any blood flow to it, which eventually leads to a condition called a non-vital tooth or widely known as a ‘dead tooth’.

Signs of a Dead Tooth

  • Discolouration is a common first symptom of a dead tooth
  • Mild to severe pain (but some people don’t suffer any pain at all)
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Swelling around the gum line
  • A pimple on the gums
  • A bad taste in the mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible.

Causes of a Dead Tooth

The two leading causes of a dead tooth are poor dental hygiene, resulting in tooth decay, and a tooth injury or trauma. Poor oral care can cause decay and tooth decay if left untreated can cause infected pulp. Once the pulp is infected, the blood supply is cut off, and the tooth dies.

On the other hand, a dead tooth can be due to a physical injury or trauma. For example, a sports injury could be the incident that caused the dead tooth. If one was hit in the mouth while playing basketball, they could damage or burst the blood vessels in the pulp of their tooth. Ultimately, this could create a case of a non-vital tooth.

If you are concerned, you may have a dead tooth, consult with us at Toronto Beach Dental as soon as you can! We can perform an extraction or root canal treatment depending on the severity of your condition. The sooner we treat the problem, the better!

-Dr. Jay Rabinovich

Posted in Blog by Jade