Can a Dead Tooth Fall Out on Its Own?

We know that in order to look after our teeth, we need to brush regularly, floss, avoid sugary drinks, and visit the dentist regularly, but is that enough? Well, the sad reality is that, no, it isn’t always enough.

Our teeth are delicate, and they can be susceptible to damage from a whole variety of different things, and sadly, teeth can often become damaged, infected, or even completely dead. Yes, teeth are in fact considered to be living things, and yes, they can therefore die if not properly cared for.

Our teeth are made up of a combination of soft and hard tissue, and healthy teeth are classed as being alive. Due to all kinds of different things however, living teeth can die and dead teeth can cause a whole host of problems.

If you’re suffering with a dead tooth, or if you know somebody that is, you might be wondering how long a dead tooth can stay in the mouth, or whether it will need removing.

Can a dead tooth fall out on its own? Well, let’s find out, shall we?

What is a dead tooth?

As we mentioned in the intro to this article, teeth are technically classed as living as they have living tissue inside them. They can therefore die.

Does this mean you need to hold a funeral for them and pay your respects to them? Of course not, that would be silly. It does mean, however, that the tooth needs to come out one way or another.

A tooth is referred to as being ‘dead’ when it no longer receives any blood flow. Once nerves inside the pulp of the tooth become damaged or destroyed, blood is no longer able to be supplied to the tooth, or if it is, it is in short supply.

This lack of blood, oxygen, and nutrients can lead to an infection and can cause the nerve of the tooth to die.

Will a dead tooth fall out on its own?

If you suffer with a dead tooth, you may experience pain and discomfort, especially if an infection has set in. The tooth itself will also become discoloured and will turn a dark grey/blue colour.

Naturally, you’ll want the tooth out, so does that mean that you should wait for your dentist to remove it, or can a dead tooth fall out on its own?

If the tooth in question suffers from a dead nerve, the technical term for this is a ‘pulpless tooth’ or ‘necrotic pulp’. If this does happen, the tooth will actually fall out by itself. The problem is that this takes time and leaving it for too long could lead to infection, and it could cause pain and discomfort and make it hard to chew.

How long can a dead tooth stay in the mouth?

Ideally, if you do experience a dead tooth, you should speak to your dentist and have them arrange for it to be removed.

A dead tooth can stay in the mouth for days, or even months. The problem, however, is that leaving the tooth in your mouth can leave you susceptible to infection, it can cause pain and discomfort, and it will also look very unsightly as well.

Treatments for a dead tooth

If you do speak to your dentist, they’ll arrange for your dead tooth to be treated/removed. Two common and popular procedures include:

Dental extraction

A dental extraction is basically a fancy term for having a tooth taken out.

Your dentist will remove the tooth by making an incision in the gums, after numbing the area, and carefully extracting the dead tooth.

Root canal

A root canal treatment is a procedure whereby the dentist removes any infected pulp or nerves from within the tooth, cleaning the inside, and then filling and sealing the cavity within, before placing a crown over the top to protect the tooth.

Just be aware that if a tooth is completely dead, this treatment is not viable. It can however, prevent a dead tooth if you act quickly enough.

What happens if a dead tooth falls out?

If a dead tooth falls out, you should speak to your dentist and get booked in as quickly as you can. This is to ensure there is no sign of further infection, perhaps in the gums, and it is to ensure that no other teeth are at risk.

Can a tooth just randomly fall out?

A healthy tooth should never fall out. If a tooth falls out, it is likely due to trauma, an infection, or decay.

How to prevent a dead tooth

So, in terms of can a dead tooth fall out on its own, we now know that, yes, it can indeed.

If you are worried about a dead tooth, or any other dental issues, be sure to consult your dentist as they can treat a number of dental ailments and can offer help and advice.

Speak to your dentist, get regular check-ups, watch your diet, and be sure to practice good oral hygiene and you’ll find that your chances of suffering from a dead tooth will drop noticeably.

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