To understand that your teeth can die, you must first understand that your teeth are alive. Each tooth is made up of three different layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and is the layer that is visible when you smile. It is also the layer that protects the inner layers of the teeth. The dentin and the pulp are made up of nerve fibers and blood vessels that supply a constant blood flow to the teeth. As with all areas of the body, if the tooth loses its blood supply it will die.
Decay and trauma are the most common causes for a tooth to die. They can both affect the inner structure of a tooth that can lead it to lose a constant access to the blood supply. When a cavity forms inside a tooth, it is imperative that it receive prompt attention and treatment so that its decay will not spread throughout the mouth. Cavities, gum disease, or other forms of dental decay can quickly spread due to the living tissues inside the mouth. If an infection enters the blood flow, it can cause significant damage. If the infection reaches the inner structure of the tooth, it can cut off the nerves and blood vessels from the continuous blood supply, thus killing the tooth. Once this occurs, there is no treatment that can be done to save the tooth or to restore life to it. It will either require root canal therapy or extraction.
Trauma and injury can also cause a tooth to die, and this is typically a much more immediate occurrence. If a tooth is knocked out of the mouth or has received blunt force trauma that has severed the roots of the tooth, it will immediately lose its blood supply. Any injury to the teeth or mouth should be evaluated by a dentist as quickly as possible for any hope of saving a tooth.
At Siena Dental we are here to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile that will last for a lifetime. With regular dental cleanings and exams combined with proactive oral health habits at home, your teeth can be spared from serious complications. Dental emergencies do occur, and if you have had a tooth die due to injury or trauma, we will help you restore the health of your mouth. Siena Dental wants to provide the highest standard in oral health to you. Please call us today to schedule an appointment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Dave Mahon, Siena Dental
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Teeth have different functions that they provide to all of us. They allow us to speak properly, they give us a distinctive smile, and they also allow us the ability to eat and chew foods. The front teeth are used for cutting foods with their sharp, thin edges. The canines (aka “eye teeth”) are used for holding or grasping foods. These stated teeth also promote the correct articulation and pronunciation in proper speech. The back teeth consist of the premolars and molars, allowing us to chew and crush foods so that they are easy to swallow and digest. These back teeth are rough, jagged, and made up of many grooves and pits on their top surfaces. While this design is necessary for eating, it contributes to the difficulty in keeping them clean.
As food is chewed and broken down by the premolars and molars, food particles often become trapped in the deep ridges. Natural acids occur in the mouth any time we eat or drink anything other than water. While these acids occur naturally and are beneficial to the mouth, they can also cause severe damage. Food particles that are trapped in the back teeth attract a large amount of acids and bacteria. The acids and bacteria are there to help break down the food, however, because they congregate in such large quantities, they often end up destroying the teeth during the process of breaking down food particles.