13790 Bear Valley Rd. E-5

Victorville, CA 92392

Call us!

(760) 955-2273


How Long Can A Dead Tooth Stay In Your Mouth?

May 13, 2024Oral health, oral surgery

How Long Can A Dead Tooth Stay In Your Mouth?

When a tooth no longer has blood flow, it is considered dead. The lack of blood supply results in the tooth being unable to survive. Dead teeth are commonly referred to as non-vital tooth or having a necrotic pulp. When a tooth dies, it will eventually fall out naturally. Allowing this can lead to serious consequences for your jaw and surrounding teeth. The time it takes for a damaged tooth to naturally fall out can vary widely, from a few days to several years. It is advised to avoid of this situation due to potential risks. It is recommended to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to address any tooth decay that is discovered.

It is typically not possible to determine if a tooth is dead solely based on its appearance. It is recommended to consult a dentist for a proper diagnosis of the tooth’s condition rather than trying to assess it yourself. It is recommended to have regular dental check-ups to ensure good oral health. An indication that it’s time to schedule a dental appointment is feeling pain or discomfort in your teeth. One potential sign is noticing a change in the color of your teeth, such as them appearing darker.

Pain may indicate an infection in the pulp or the potential death of the tooth nerve. It is important to note that numbness may not necessarily occur when a nerve dies, despite common misconceptions. Pain in the tooth is caused by nerve endings surrounding it, not from within. The nerve endings are referred to as the periodontal membrane.

What happens if you leave a dead tooth in place?

Failing to remove a decaying or dead tooth can result in potential complications, including the spread of infection. In addition, it can lead to halitosis and an unattractive smile. A dead tooth can be easily identified, especially if it is located in the front of your smile, causing both distraction and discomfort, especially if it appears a black tooth. Bad breath can be unpleasant during conversations.

When nerves are damaged and no longer functional, root canal therapy may be recommended. The procedure consists of two basic steps that are generally not painful. A local anesthetic will be applied initially to numb the area in your mouth that needs treatment. An opening is created to allow the dentist access to the affected pulp. The canals are cleaned after the pulp is removed to prepare for the filling. After the filling is inserted, the procedure is finished.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and practicing good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent the formation of dead teeth. Maintaining regular dental appointments along with these habits shows a dedication to keeping your oral health in good condition.


What is the average time it takes for a tooth to die?

When a tooth becomes damaged or decays, it will eventually die. The time frame for the decline can vary, ranging from a few days to a couple of months, depending on the severity of the damage. One common indicator of a dying tooth is a change in color, often leading to darkened or discolored teeth. White shade is the typical color of healthy teeth. The color of your teeth can be affected by the daily care you provide them with. Coffee, red wine, smoking, and blueberries are known to cause teeth staining. Regular consumption of these items can have adverse effects on dental health, with blueberries being the least damaging among them.

Some signs of a dying tooth can include discoloration in various shades, such as yellow, gray, light brown, and even black, which sets it apart from the neighboring healthy teeth.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to promptly make a dental appointment. Taking prompt action can help avoid additional issues and maintain the health of your tooth. Leaving a decayed or dying tooth untreated may seem harmless initially, but over time it can lead to decay in neighboring teeth and potentially affect the health of your jaw.


What are the Treatment Options for a Dying Tooth?

It is important to address a dying or dead tooth promptly to prevent bacterial spread to surrounding tissues and potential further damage or loss of healthy teeth.

In cases of a dying or dead tooth, the decision between a root canal and tooth extraction can have a significant impact on the outcome. It is necessary to carefully consider the timing for each procedure.

Root Canal

A root canal is a procedure done on a tooth that is no longer alive but is still healthy. The process involves accessing the dentin by opening the tooth and removing the infected pulp with small tools. The dentist cleans the pulp and seals the tooth with a permanent filling.

A dental crown may be recommended after a root canal procedure in most situations. This option may be suitable for a large filling or if there is damage to the tooth enamel.

After completing a successful dental procedure to address decay in a tooth, you may want to consider brightening it with a bleaching treatment or another whitening method to eliminate any stains. Alternatively, veneers are a potential option for improving the appearance of front teeth.

Tooth Extraction

In cases where a tooth is too damaged to be repaired, extraction may be required to eliminate the dead tooth. Dentists provide different options for replacing the dead teeth, such as implants, dentures, or bridges, taking into account your preferences, finances, and overall dental health.

Contact Us Today

Are you a new patient?

3 + 11 =