tooth pulp

What is the pulp of a tooth?

The pulp is the tooth’s nerve supply that is found deep inside the tooth. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of each root. The pulp is very important for normal tooth growth, health and development. However, a fully developed tooth can function normally without a pulp if root canal treatment has been successful.

What happens if there is infection or inflammation of the pulp?

Infection or inflammation of the pulp can be caused by:

  • Breakdown of a filling or crown
  • A deep cavity
  • Trauma
  • Gum disease
  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Extreme wear
  • Extensive dental work to the tooth

Symptoms may include pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth discolouration and swelling or soreness of surrounding gums.

It is important for the tooth pulp to be treated quickly otherwise severe pain and abscesses (infection at the end of the roots) can occur.