I’m trying not to panic. One of my teeth has turned gray. I googled it and the website said it means my tooth is dead. Does this mean it’s going to fall out? What do I do?
Take a deep breath. As long as timely steps are taken, your tooth should be just fine. While a gray tooth does mean that it has either died or is in the process of dying, that doesn’t automatically mean it is going to fall out.
What you do have to be careful of is it blowing up into an infection. When a tooth dies, it harbors bacteria. Until the dentist removes the bacteria with a root canal treatment, you run the risk of infection. This is a dental emergency.
When You Ignore a Dental Emergency
Two things can happen if you ignore a dental infection:
- You can lose the tooth
Depending on the direction the infection goes it could cause you to lose one or more teeth. If this happens, you’ll have to look at tooth replacement options. The best option, dental implants, requires surgery. It’s much more time and cost effective for you to take care of your tooth.
- The infection spreads
This puts not only your teeth at risk, but your life too. I know it sounds incomprehensible, but even in this day and age, people still die from tooth infections.
The reason your tooth turned gray is also important. Was it from unchecked decay or tooth trauam? If it was trauma, your dentist will need to check the stability of the tooth. If it is loose at all, he’ll want to splint it while the ligaments heal.
Whatever you do, don’t wiggle it until the dentist has it splinted (or even after). You risk snapping them which can cause problems long-term for you.
Many people are afraid to go to the dentist in situations like this because they fear the appointment will hurt. If you are feeling that way, try seeing a sedation dentist. It will help you have an anxiety-free appointment.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.