Identifying and Treating a Dead Tooth

How long can a dead tooth stay in your mouth?

The answer to this question depends on several factors:


How old is the tooth ?

A dead tooth will remain in your mouth for only so long before it falls out. A tooth which has been there for over 10 years will not fall out because it is too hard to chew through. However, if the tooth is older than 5 years then it may become loose or even fall out. If the tooth becomes loose then you need to see a dentist immediately.


What kind of food do you eat regularly?

When eating regular foods like breads, cereals and pasta, a tooth with a strong bite will last longer than one without such teeth. Eating soft drinks and other non-food items however will cause the tooth to loosen up quickly.


Do you have any dental problems?

If you are suffering from gum disease, periodontal disease or cavities then the tooth will lose its grip sooner rather than later. You might want to consult a dentist if your tooth starts falling out due to decay.


Are you chewing gum regularly? (Gum Disease?


Chewing gum is bad for your teeth. Lack of chewing action means that your saliva will not be able to clean the plaque off your teeth and this will lead to decay and ultimately loose teeth.

You should see a dentist immediately if you started munching on gum.

How can I save a dying tooth naturally?

You can save a dying tooth by visiting a dentist immediately. However, there is something you can do to save the tooth yourself. The following steps should be taken if your tooth has not yet fallen out:

1) Applying a cold compress

Applying a cold compress (such as an ice pack) will numb the area and alleviate some of the pain. You can also put crushed ice in a plastic bag for 10 minutes at a time.

2) Cleaning it

You should clean the area in your mouth which is affected by using a soft toothbrush to remove any food particles stuck in the area. This should be done at least 2 times a day and more if necessary.

You should not use toothpaste for this as it can irritate the weakened gum around your tooth.

3) Taking painkillers

You can take over-the-counter painkillers to deal with the pain. Do not exceed the recommended dosage and do not use acetaminophen without first talking to your doctor.

Aspirin should never be used by people suffering from bleeding gums or who are prone to heart disease.

4) Avoiding acidic food and drinks

Foods and drinks with high acidity levels should be avoided at all costs.

Sources & references used in this article:

Odontogenic Cysts: Treatment of Cysts of the Jaws by PA Bramley – 1971 –

Identification of waterfowl nest predators by JL Bernier – 1955 – Mosby

Importance of dental records for victim identification following the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster in Thailand by JD Rearden – The Journal of Wildlife Management, 1951 – JSTOR

Assessment of the Discoloured Tooth by M Petju, A Suteerayongprasert, R Thongpud, K Hassiri – Public health, 2007 – Elsevier