Teeth are alive
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.
What lies below the enamel?
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 problems? Injury, trauma, infection, large fillings, and multiple restorations can impact a tooth’s blood supply.
Can you save a dead tooth?
At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry we 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.
What happens after a root canal?
The root canal is only the first step in complete tooth restoration. The final steps are the core build-up and the beautiful and functional crown.
Root canals usually 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 vital to speak with Dr. Steven Gustafson of Gustafson Morningstar 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 important to visit your dentist regularly for a thorough dental examination and dental cleaning.
You can count on Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry for quality care when you need it.
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