About Your Tooth

The Tooth

Your tooth consists of two parts: the crown, which is above the gum and visible in your mouth; and the roots, which lie beneath the gum and are surrounded by bone. Inside each root is a channel that runs the length of the tooth. This channel is the root canal and contains the pulp, which is often referred to as the “nerve” of the tooth. This pulp may be damaged irreversibly. In order to preserve the tooth, the affected pulp tissue must be removed. This procedure is known as endodontic therapy.

The removal of injured pulp is commonly advised by your dentist because the pulp may become infected or act as an irritant to the tissues surrounding the tooth. If this occurs, the tooth can become abscessed, a separate and more serious condition which may be accompanied by severe pain or swelling.