What Is Dental Pulp & Why Is It Important?

A root canal is an extensive dental procedure that is performed to save or repair an infected tooth. This infection can be caused by an untreated cavity or rapid tooth decay, which usually grows in the grooves of molars or on the side of the enamel. A root canal is needed to hollow out the infected dental pulp inside your troubled tooth. But what is dental pulp and why does it get infected? With a steady hand, the team at Biltmore Commons Dental Care will guide you through the entire process and make it as painless as possible. 

What Is Dental Pulp?

Dental pulp is an unmineralized, gelatinous oral tissue that makes up the innermost portion of each tooth. Composed of soft connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels, dental pulp is responsible for supplying nutrients and moisture to the surrounding gum tissue, as well as to help form the dentin of each tooth. The pulp also houses the start of each tooth’s root and acts as an alarm system when there is an infection or defect in a tooth, sending pain signals to your brain so you know there is something wrong with your oral health.

What Causes an Infection?

Any sort of tooth damage can cause an infection in your dental pulp. Generally, this damage involves a cracked or chipped tooth, an untreated cavity, or the death of a tooth. Hard candy, contact sports, and previous dental work that’s gone awry, can cause a crack or chip in any of your teeth. These cracks are inviting for food particles and bacteria, leading to a severe cavity or tooth decay. 

As bacteria makes its way into the innermost makings of your damaged tooth, it starts to eat away at the protective layers above your dental pulp until it eventually reaches the pulp and spreads into the root of your tooth. Once the pulp and the root are infected, you may begin to experience severe sensitivity and pain when eating or drinking. 

Why Does Dental Pulp Need to Be Removed?

Infected dental pulp can cause significant health problems, not to mention throbbing toothaches.  Because this chamber of your tooth has direct access to your jawbone and its channel of nerves, it’s important to have this procedure done before the infection spreads to the bone. The pus-filled pocket can also cause drainage problems into the gum tissue and the side of your cheeks if you let it go untreated. The infection can also spread to neighboring teeth, infecting them from beneath the surface. 

If you’re needing a friendly and caring dental team in Phoenix, AZ, stop by and see us at Biltmore. We’ll take X-rays, do a thorough exam, and provide you with expert root canal therapy to clear an infection and save the integrity of your tooth or teeth. To speak to a front desk member or your dentist about any concerns, call us today at (602) 249-2227.