While the outside, or what is visible, of our teeth is made up of hard enamel, the inside of our teeth is actually living tissue, comprised mostly of nerves and blood cells, called the “pulp”. Although a healthy pulp is vital to the formation and development of our teeth, once a tooth has reached maturity, such as in an adult, the root and exterior structure of the tooth can remain functional without the need of the pulp.
This soft tissue is very vulnerable to injury. Cavities, left untreated and allowed to decay, can go deep down into the pulp causing damage. Sports injuries or falls that injure the mouth can also causing bruising to the pulp. Even too many dental procedures on the same tooth can prove injurious. When the inside nerve of the tooth is damaged, the surrounding tissue must be removed using root canal therapy before a severe infection develops.
It is entirely possible to have a dead tooth without any presenting systems so it is important to get regular dental checkups. However, some teeth will grow darker from the bruising of dying blood cells when the pulp has become damaged. Some people experience pain from mild to extreme, either from a resulting abscess or the actual dying of the tooth nerve. If an infection has begun in the damaged pulp, it’s possible to notice some swelling and an unpleasant odor or taste.
If you have any of these symptoms, or if you are symptom free but have recently suffered an injury to your mouth, you should have your local dental professional examine your teeth as soon as possible. A dead tooth cannot go untreated without risk of infection or an abscess. Fast and effective treatment could possibly save the structure of your tooth.
Posted on behalf of Toothmasters
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