Since our teeth don’t ‘grow’ and the enamel is not comprised of living cells, sometimes we forget that teeth are alive. We are reminded that they have active nerves when we have a toothache or sudden sensitivity to hot or cold food. Like other organs, teeth need a blood supply to stay alive and healthy.
Veins, arteries, lymph vessels and nerves live below the enamel and dentin in the pulp of the tooth. When the blood flow is cut off, the tooth eventually dies. What can cause blood flow troubles? Injury, trauma, infection, large fillings, and multiple restorations can impact a tooth’s blood supply.
Your dentist can perform root canal therapy to save a dead tooth if necessary. During a root canal procedure (or endodontic treatment) the soft tissue in the root of the tooth is removed. Once the roots are cleaned out and widened, they are filled with a special rubber material. The root canal is only the first step in the complete tooth restoration. The final steps are the core build up and beautiful and functional crown.
Root canals typically last many years, but not always. Inadequate oral hygiene, decay, periodontal disease, an undetected crack, abscess, or degradation of root canal sealing materials can all cause a root canal to fail.
How do you know if you have a dead or dying tooth? It is critical to communicate with Dr. William Stewart of William J. Stewart Jr. DDS Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry immediately if you experience tenderness or pain, hot or cold sensitivity, tooth discoloration, tooth injury, gum swelling, gum pain, or lymph node tenderness or drainage. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes there are no noticeable symptoms. That is why it is essential to visit your dentist regularly for a thorough dental examination and dental cleaning.
In addition to endodontic therapy, at William J. Stewart Jr. DDS Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry we are committed to patient-centered and detail oriented general and cosmetic dentistry. You can count on William J. Stewart Jr. DDS Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for: root canals, clear braces, sedation dentistry, and teeth whitening.
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