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Teeth are considered to be living things, which means that they are able to die. Teeth that are referred to as dead or rotten are teeth that have no blood flowing to it.  A dead or rotten tooth can also be referred to as a “non-vital tooth” or “necrotic pulp”.  Rotten teeth may be able to be reclaimed through a root canal, but to fully understand how that works, it is wise to know the anatomy of a tooth.  And, it should also be known that if root canal therapy does not work for a rotten tooth, and it dies, the tooth will eventually fall out on its own.  Depending on the damage done to the dead tooth, it could fall out in weeks or months.  But, it is not recommended that a patient wait that long.  If a tooth dies or becomes rotten with decay, you should visit your dentist ASAP. The sooner a patient sees a dentist, the chances increase that a root canal can save a rotten tooth.  So, yes a rotten tooth will eventually fall out, but a patient should not wait until it does. 


The Anatomy of a Tooth Explained


As mentioned above, a dead tooth can be saved with a root canal. A root canal is a treatment that involves saving a decayed tooth.  In order to save a rotten tooth, the living tissue inside of the tooth or pulp is removed.  Any decay is also removed and filled with medicated materials which can restore the rotten tooth to full function.  


To explain even further, let’s discuss the anatomy of a tooth.  A tooth has a crown,  the top part of the tooth, which is the part you can see in an open mouth.  The bottom of the tooth is embedded in gums and bone, and this is called the root.  A tooth has three layers, the enamel or outer layer, the inner layer by the root called cementum, and the dentin or innermost layer.  The pulp or living tissue is underneath the dentin. It is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and tissue.  The pulp can be harmed if the tooth becomes cracked or decayed.  An infection can develop caused by germs.  The patient may experience swelling in the face and pain. If the patient experiences pain, it may suggest that the pulp is infected. This is an indication that the tooth has died.  


Symptoms and Causes of Rotten Teeth


When a tooth has turned “rotten” that means the tooth was badly decayed.  Tooth decay develops from not having good oral hygiene habits.  Make sure to brush twice daily and floss too.  Schedule annual visits with your dentist for dental health exams.  Cut back on sugary or starchy foods, which can contribute to tooth decay.  


Some symptoms of rotten teeth include, a toothache, and pain when biting down on hard foods. Little holes in the teeth may have developed that the human eye can see, and the teeth could be stained brown or black.  If the situation is severe, swelling and pus may develop.  So, rotten teeth can affect your daily life.  As soon as these symptoms start to occur visit your dentist as soon as you can.  

For more information, contact a professional dentist at Parkview Dentistry.

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