Inside each tooth, beneath the enamel and dentin, is a soft tissue called dental pulp. Made up of living connective tissues and cells, it helps to grow the tooth while it is being developed. After that, the tooth can survive without the pulp because it draws its nourishment from surrounding tissues. The dental pulp can become infected or inflamed when the tooth experiences severe tooth decay or trauma, which causes a microbial invasion of the root canal. This can occur for a several different reasons, such as a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, trauma to the tooth, or repeated dental procedures.
Because there are nerve tissues, blood vessels, and cellular structures within the tooth and its roots, the patient usually experiences significant pain and discomfort when the pulp becomes infected. However, some patients may experience different symptoms, or no symptoms at all. If you are experiencing tooth pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold, swelling around a tooth, discoloration, or tenderness in the area, you may have a tooth infection. If you do not get effective treatment, the infection can develop into an abscess. Root canal therapy clears the tooth of infection and strengthens it to restore its health and function.