Necrotic (dead) Tooth

Necrosis refers to the dying of live tissue, that is present within the tooth, due to inflammation or infection. The term necrotic in simple terms means dead. When the tooth becomes necrotic you have two treatment option, either root canal treatment or extraction.

Different Causes of Tooth Necrosis

  • trauma; any blow to the tooth or surrounding area can lead to necrosis
  • large cavity; bacteria or bacterial biproducts causes inflammation within the tooth, which eventually leads to necrosis
  • long standing inflammation within the tooth caused by root surface exposure
  • severe periodontal infection
  • periodontal treatment; scaling and root planing can irritate the tooth.  If there was inflammation present within the tooth before treatment, the tooth will become more irritated and sensitive , which can also lead to eventual tooth necrosis
  • Crack or fracture of part of the tooth
Necrotic Tooth
Root canal treatment is one of the options for treating a necrotic tooth

Treatment of Tooth Necrosis

  • it is aimed at cleaning the canal of the tooth to eliminate the dead tissue
  • a filler material is placed in the tooth to create a tight seal at the opening to the root
  • this is performed to seal any bacteria or other irritants within the tooth
  • without a good seal the bacteria or bacterial biproducts  can cause inflammation and swelling around the root of the tooth
  • poor seal is the main reason for pain and swelling after root canal treatment.  Lateral canals that are difficult to treat can be a source of irritants as well