If you let that dental irritation or pain go for too long, it can turn into something a lot worse. When painful teeth are left to do so without treatment, they will eventually die. What exactly does that mean? Teeth require a constant supply of blood and nutrients to remain viable and healthy. If that supply is cut off, the tooth will die without these resources. If it’s left in that state for too long and not removed, it will eventually start to cause an infection in the surrounding teeth.

Necrotic or non-vital teeth is the most serious stage of a rot or even a very bad cavity.

Once a tooth dies, it needs to come out to prevent infection. But how do you know a tooth is dying or dead? If you’ve never experienced a dying tooth before, it may not be as obvious as you think. You need to know the signs of a dying or dead tooth in order to know when to go to the dentist and get it treated.

Below is information about dying teeth, what causes it, what are the signs, and more.


Often, a dead tooth is a result of bad habits. There are genetic factors and trauma to a tooth can also lead it to eventually die. But more often than not, bad oral hygiene habits cause a tooth to begin to die. The timeline tends to look like this: a cavity becomes severe and bacteria enters the inner portions of the tooth, the tooth fights off the small infection for as long as it can until pain and swelling begin and the tooth becomes starved of nutrients until blood flow to the tooth stops altogether.


The first and most obvious sign is pain. It can be as simple as an irritation or as painful as a swelling. But it starts with pain. You may also notice discoloration on the tooth as it begins to lose blood going from yell to gray to black. Other signs include bad taste in the mouth, a bad odor from thee tooth, and inflamed gums.


If you catch a dying tooth early, your dentist can take steps to save it from total necrosis. But if it’s already too late, extraction is the only course of action. Removing the tooth help prevents the spread of infection and allows the tissue to heal. Sometimes a root canal is necessary to repair a damaged root.

Related Questions

How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay?

Good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent teeth from dying. Brushing at least three times a day and flossing daily helps as well as antibacterial mouth wash. It’s not foolproof, but it’s your best line of defense. Avoid trauma to your teeth by wearing appropriate mouth guards while playing sports and being aware if you have an injury.

What Does a Tooth Extraction Cost?

If you need your necrotic tooth removed, it could cost a few hundred dollars to start for the most minimally invasive removal. Surgical removal, requiring anesthesia, costs more. Prices vary depending on treatment options. Make sure to talk to your dentist about finance options if you don’t have insurance.

If you suspect your tooth has become necrotic or you think you need it removed, talk to your dental professional immediately to go over next steps to keep your mouth healthy.

A healthy mouth for life is our goal for every patient at Sedki Dentistry. Our Commerce Dental Office is full-service offering dental treatments such as dental implants for tooth restoration, cosmetic dentistry such as dental veneers and braces, children’s dentistry, gum rejuvenation for gum recession and much more! Your questions and concerns are important to us, call today for a Free Dental Consultation!