Plaza Dental Group +15152245999  1089 Jordan Creek Pkwy #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Signs of a Dead Tooth | Its Treatment and Prevention


A tooth contains three layers: the pulp, enamel, and dentin. To stay healthy and alive, the pulp of the tooth must have a continuous blood supply. When the nerves in the tooth pulp get damaged due to an injury or decay and no longer receive any blood supply, it creates a dead tooth. If left untreated, the dead tooth may affect the jaw and other teeth.

Read on to learn more about the causes, signs, and treatment of a dead tooth.

What Are the Causes of a Dead Tooth?

The possible causes of a dead tooth are:

  • Physical injury to the tooth – It may cut off the blood supply to the tooth, causing the tooth to die.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene – It can lead to cavities. If left untreated, cavities can cause infection in the tooth pulp, which stops the blood supply to the tooth and causes it to die.

Signs of a Dead Tooth

You can identify a dead tooth by these two primary symptoms:

  • Pain – You may experience pain in and around the tooth if your tooth is dead. An infection or dying nerves causes pain, which can be mild or intense.
  • Discoloration – A dead or dying tooth won’t receive any blood supply, thus causing the color of the tooth to turn yellow, light brown, gray, or black. The discoloration will increase if the dead tooth is left untreated.

People with a dead tooth may experience these symptoms too:

  • Swelling around the gum line
  • Bad taste
  • Bad breath

How Is a Dead Tooth Diagnosed?

It is recommended to visit your dentist as soon as you have a tooth injury or if you notice any kind of pain and discoloration in your tooth so that they can begin the treatment. A dentist may find a dead tooth during dental checkups and through dental X-rays.

Treatment Options for a Dead Tooth

A dead tooth can be treated by any of the following procedures:

  • Root Canal

    During this procedure, the infected tooth and its root will be cleaned to remove the abscess or infected tissue. After cleaning, your dentist will seal the root and place the permanent filling to prevent further infection.

    A dead tooth can function after treatment, but a crown or veneer may be required to provide extra strength and support.

  • Tooth Extraction

    Your dentist may recommend removing your tooth if it cannot be restored or is severely damaged. During the procedure, your dentist will completely remove your tooth. However, you can replace the extracted tooth with a denture, implant, or bridge.

Tips for Preventing a Dead Tooth

Follow these tips to prevent a dead tooth:

  • Practice good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing twice a day
  • Wear a mouth guard if you participate in contact sports to prevent injury to your teeth
  • Limit the intake of sugary foods and beverages to decrease your risk for cavities and decay
  • Drink more water, especially after eating, to wash away food particles
  • Schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings

If you are looking for the best treatment for a dead tooth, contact our leading dentists at Plaza Dental Group in Des Moines.

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

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4.6
Based on 203 reviews
I had an amazing experience at Plaza Dental! Sara my dental hygienist made it even spectacular. I felt comfortable around her. She was very personable and professional. She took the time to explain the whole process and very thorough with the whole process of taking X-ray and cleaning my teeth. I was impressed by her expertise and most of all I felt as if I’d known her for years because she made me feel comfortable! Thank you Sara and the rest of the team for an amazing first time experience!read more
Winnie Lee
Winnie Lee
I finally found my dental home. I had my first consultation with Dr Dietrich today, she is genuinely nice as well as her assistant . I felt welcomed , they care about me and my dental health . I'm looking forward to my first visit in a few weeks!!!!
Cheryl Santee
Cheryl Santee
My experience is just starting but yesterday was my first day and I was treated with so much care, love & respect. They made me feel as if I was at home it was a wonderful feeling. Mind you I am terrified of dentist and here I felt so welcomed with open arms . I will be continuing to go here. So far the best place I highly recommendread more
Danielle Ceballos
Danielle Ceballos
The staff at Plaza Dental are the best. Dr. Odland and his assistant, Becca, have been amazing to work with. They have always been patient, kind, and compassionate. I was always kept comfortable during my procedures and have always had a great experience. I look forward to working with them in the future.read more
Erika Sieren
Erika Sieren
Today I had my first appointment at Plaza Dental. I am one of those patients who is extremely anxious about dental visits and I had avoided getting dental care for awhile .My hygienist Hilary was AMAZING! I'm so happy that I made the appointment and that i am on my way to wanting to show my smile again .read more
Pam Gronewold
Pam Gronewold
Dr. Dietrich is so easy to work with. She's very skilled and her assistants are always able to explain every step of the way. My implant feels great!!
Amanda Godfrey
Amanda Godfrey
I moved to Iowa at the end Of February, and have been looking for a dentist that cared about their patients. When I found Plaza Dental Group, they were able to get me right in, and my experience from the when I walked in to the office, to the time I walked out after my first visit was beyond what I could have hoped for. Dr.Odland and his staff are incredible and made me feel comfortable from start to finish. They explained the next steps regarding my next appointments, and everything that was going to take place. I feel at ease knowing that I am being taken care of. All of my appointments have been great. The front staff is great as well! I can not say enough great things about this office!read more
Jessica Ford
Jessica Ford
Thank you so much got me in fast and great help very nice staff and helped me with a problem that another dentist caused and helping me get the proper care 😁
Rachel Hinrichs
Rachel Hinrichs
My hygienist rocks, love Sarah. We have become friends through the years, she is just too sweet. But there are many great hygienists and Dr. Odland and his team took such good care of me when i broke my jaw and several teeth.
Amanda Westerhold
Amanda Westerhold
Hands down the BEST dentist I’ve ever been to. I have severe anxiety when it comes to the dentist and they were SO sweet/accommodating. Only place I will be going to for my dental needs going forward.
Breanna Bedford
Breanna Bedford
To the whole plaza dental family you guys are the best I strongly recommend you guys to every one🙂🙂🙂 really kind nice people and do the best job EVER!!! Doctor JAY JENSEN you rock and congratulations on your move,also to all the staff you ladies made me feel very comfortable thank you thank you god bless.Doctor Jay Jensen keep doing your thing🙂 and the ladies up front you guys double rock🙂🙂 thanks for opening the door for me Lol, Alvin Thanks Plaza!!!!read more
Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee
As usual, I only waited a few minutes until Talia came to bring me to the back. The treatment itself was pleasant and efficient and everybody was very friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend this place!
Martina Walther
Martina Walther
This place is the BEST. I cannot say enough about how great Lacey is and the job she does! I was so impressed by Plaza Dental Group compared to previous dentists I've visited that I won't be going anywhere else. Highly recommend Lacey, Dr. Odland, and Dr. Dietrich - they are highly educated and knowledgeable, very thorough with their care and listening to your needs, inform/explain things every step of the way, and are so enjoyable and fun to be around. Wish I could give more than 5 stars!read more
Jasenn Greiner
Jasenn Greiner
Dr Colin Odland is the best! He is very knowledgeable, patient, kind and makes sure you are doing ok as he works. I highly recommend him, especially patients that have had bad experiences with dentists in the past.
Debora Lynn
Debora Lynn
I just switched to Plaza because it’s closer to my work/home and I’d give them 100 stars if I could! My hygienist Talia had amazing attention to detail (and I’m known to be very particular) and Dr. Odland’s chairside manner was amazing. I don’t know why I didn’t come here sooner!
Derek Zarn
Derek Zarn
I had a great experience at Plaza Dental in West Des Moines. Lacey was the nicest person to work with. I had the Zoom whitening done and Lacey was excellent. She answered all my questions and explained everything in great detail. Thank you for a wonderful visit and my bright white teeth.
Barb Lang
Barb Lang
Plaza Dental Group
Plaza Dental Group. 1089 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

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