Teeth have a soft inner core which contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the bone of the jaws. If this pulp gets damaged or infected, the pulp can’t repair itself and dies. The most common cause for pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity which lets bacteria enter the pulp. The bacteria can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, bacteria builds up at the root tip in the jawbone, forming an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth and is often painful.
Root canal therapy allows dentists to save teeth. Treatment involves removing the diseased pulp from the pulp chamber and roots of the tooth, then cleaning and sealing them. A tooth that has had a root canal is less strong and requires a crown over the tooth to make it more durable.
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