"Pulp-death" most commonly occurs when the pulp is affected or injured so greatly
that the pulp's content can not be repaired back to a normal & proper vital function.
As we have seen before, this internal "dead-pulp" becomes infected and becomes
the "nidus" of the infection or abscess at the root's apex in the bone.
MUSCLES: ' And what can affect or injure the pulp to the "point of no-return"? '
The pulp gets to it's "end-point" most commonly from deep decay (cavity) & fillings,
cracks & fractures or some physical trauma. Anything that would compromise
the pulp's soft-structures will do it! The traumatic factor can occur from the TOP
crown-of-the-tooth OR even from the BOTTOM apex-of-the-root!
Physical traumas to the pulp are many--and many do not involve any pain at all!
One kind of trauma may come from chronic (long-time) severe wear of the enamel
& dentin approaching the pulp. This may be caused by incorrect tooth-brushing
techniques as discussed previously---habits like "grinding" the teeth &/or incorrect
bite-forces---abrasive or acidic foods or objects---and even accelerated wear with
dry-mouth. Another kind of physical trauma can be acutely (abruptly) or chronical-
ly formed fractures in any level of the tooth's hard-structure in the TOP-"crown"
&/or root. These fractures can occur fully, partially & at any angle! Also with acute
traumas like a sudden hit to the tooth or mouth, the tooth can be "jarred" enough
in it's bone-socket for the surrounding "perio-dontal structures" to become injured.
If the blood-vessels & nerves at the root's apex are damaged, they may "die-off"
from the Bottom-Upward into the root-canals & pulp-chamber.
MUSCLES: ' So there are several reasons WHY the pulp "dies-off"---namely
deep decay & deep fillings, cracks & fractures and physical traumas.
The pulp can "die-off" from the TOP crown-of-the-tooth to the
BOTTOM apex-of-the-tooth---OR it can "die-off" from the BOTTOM
to TOP (i.e., from the apex into the root-canals & pulp-chamber).
So we know WHY the tooth can die--so that's it? WHY does the tooth
still have a chance if it is dead? '
There are only two choices for most teeth at this point--doomed to be extracted OR
possibly "rescued" with "endo-dontic" treatment. If the tooth is a good candidate
for this latter treatment (and if it is the best treatment choice for the patient), endo-
dontics offers a "one-last-ditch-chance" for the tooth to remain and function in it's
original position! The actual tooth IS as important "Dead" as it is "Alive" for the
stable health of mouth & body! Even an implant will never function exactly as the
natural tooth. We will cover WHY a tooth with "endo-dontic" treatment still can
successfully exist & function. That will be the topic of our next dental blog.