You may associate a numb mouth with recent dental work. However, if you lose feeling in a tooth without a visit to the dentist or shot of local anesthetic, there is reason for concern. Your tooth has blood vessels and nerves, but it doesn’t just “go to sleep” like your foot does after sitting on it for too long. When numbness presents itself in the gums or teeth, it can be a warning sign that the tooth has died or recently lost blood supply.
Reasons for Tooth Death
If a tooth has lost vitality and suddenly lost sensation, it can typically be traced back to one of two events: severe decay or trauma. When cavities go untreated, the decay penetrates the inner portion of the tooth, where the tooth nerves reside. In such cases, patients will experience undeniable tooth pain. However, if ignored or neglected, the disease inside your tooth can eventually cause the nerves to be cut off from its nutrients. In result, the tooth dies and becomes dumb.
Accidental injury is another reason why a tooth dies and loses feeling. If a tooth suffers a traumatic hit or blunt force, the vessels to the tooth could be instantly injured and the tooth’s blood flow cut off. This leads to tooth numbness and tooth death.
Can a Dying Tooth Be Saved?
Yes! There are ways to treat a failing tooth, but time is of the essence. A root canal can save a dying tooth by eliminating the infected pulp and filling the inner tooth chambers to prevent further infection. The focus will be on not only restoring the tooth but also preventing the spread of decay and infection to neighboring teeth and surrounding gums.
Not all teeth can be saved, especially if blood flow and feeling have been completely gone for a period of time and has begun to darken or discolor. In such cases, it may be necessary to extract the dead tooth. Don’t worry; a single dental implant can replace the missing tooth without others ever knowing you mourned the death of a natural tooth.
Early Detection Always Wins
At DNTL Hub, we educate patients on ways to care for their teeth so that tooth numbness and tooth death never occur. By attending your six month dental exams with us, we can typically detect signs that a tooth’s survival is at risk and restore the tooth promptly. If a tooth that was recently very painful suddenly loses feeling at all, we recommend scheduling an appointment with us right away for emergency dental care.
We provide preventive dental maintenance as well as custom athletic mouthguards to protect your smile from decay and injury.