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Dental Disease – Questions About Decayed Teeth

Do you have a decayed tooth? Do you have questions about dental disease caused by rotting teeth? Tooth decay can become problematic and may lead you to have other dental health questions. If you are searching for answers about complications, treatment, or alternatives, consult with an online Expert. Read below for similar questions that verified dental Experts have answered.

What complications could a broken decayed tooth at the gum line cause?

Oftentimes, when teeth become decayed and break off near the gum line the gingival or gums will grow around and over the broken tooth subsequently trapping debris. Typically, this is a process that takes weeks or even months but should be addressed when detected. Leaving it untreated can lead to abscesses and infection. The decayed tooth’s nerve can die resulting in an abscess. If the gingival has grown over the rotted tooth then the gum will need to be removed before the tooth can be grabbed and extracted. It may not be necessary to cut the bone unless the tooth is impacted. Both gum and bone will grow back after the extraction. If the broken decayed tooth is caught early, then a clean extraction might be possible and other complications could be avoided.

Is there a chance of having numbness in the throat from filling a decayed tooth?

Novocain hasn’t been used in some time and the numbing agents most dentists now use are lidocaine or Carbocaine. It is possible for the throat to become numb when Novocain or other numbing agents are used while performing fillings. If the decayed tooth is on the lower jaw and a mandibular nerve block is given, the numbness may extend to the throat. When upper teeth are involved the possibility arises if an injection or infiltration is given on the back portion of the palate. Throat numbness might be avoided if injections instead of blocks are given but may not be as effective on the lower jaw area.

If tooth decay has not yet reached the nerve, is a root canal necessary?

Dental disease such as cavities can become problemsome when so close to the pulp. Oftentimes, when a dentist tries to remove the decay the pulp may become exposed which may result in a necessary root canal. Most dentists will inform the patient if this is a possibility before beginning treatment.

If a tiny black speck of decay was noticed a year ago, would the tooth now need to be removed?

It is possible that the tooth has become more decayed. A dentist can remove just the decay and repair the tooth with a filling as long as the decay is still small or manageable. Decayed teeth do not become undecayed so treatment of some kind will be needed. Extraction may not be necessary but only your dentist can determine how bad the decay has become.

How could a dentist miss decay on a tooth during an exam?

Decaying spots on a tooth can be missed. The dental tools used to diagnose cavities can detect deep fissures but does not definitively depict a decay that needs to be filled. In some cases decay cannot be seen on an x-ray but a dentist can often find during a physical exam using dental picks. However, small surface pits can turn into cavities and are often just watched instead of filled.

If a lower right bridge failed, would the back tooth that now has a cavity need to be pulled if severe and would it damage adjacent teeth? 

The likelihood of the decayed tooth affecting the adjacent tooth is lower but will continue to pose a risk if untreated. It is likely that an extraction may be needed for the tooth in question; but if it is possible to save it, then a dentist would likely opt for that route as do most patients.

A decayed tooth can be an irritation at the very least. It is not uncommon if you find yourself with questions before or after a visit with your dentist. Dental Experts are available to answer those questions and more so that you have clarity about your dental health.

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