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Everything You Need to Know About Tooth Pulp

Did you know that teeth aren't solid all the way through? Inside a tooth, there is tooth pulp - a jelly-like core. Today, our endodontists in Toronto explain the ins and outs of tooth pulp.

If you have dental decay or your endodontist discovers your tooth pulp has been destroyed, the pulp can become exposed, which may lead to an infection that should be treated by one of our endodontists. 

What is tooth pulp?

A tooth's dentin and hard enamel layers are largely made of minerals, and the pulp is the living component of your tooth. It has a jelly-like consistency and contains a variety of nerves, connective tissue, blood vessels and specialized cells. 

This tooth pulp is the only part of your tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. Its primary jobs are to regenerate dentin and to provide nutrients to a tooth. Pulp also plays a role in the health of your dentin layer by providing it with vital nutrients including fibrinogen and albumin, and moisture. 

What is the pulp chamber?

The hollowed-out area in your tooth's body or crown is called the pulp's chamber, while the root canal is the part that extends down the root. The root canal and pulp chamber of separated by this hollowed-out region, and your tooth pulp is located in the hollow middle of your tooth. 

How do I know if there are issues with my tooth pulp?

Symptoms vary between conditions. Most pulp conditions are a result of tooth decay and cause inflammation, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, tooth sensitivity to sweet foods, and pain.

If you do develop an infection, warning signs include fever, bad breath, dental abscesses (with resulting pus), swelling in and around the cheek, and swollen lymph nodes. It's usually a good idea to contact a dentist or endodontist if you notice these symptoms. If your dentist or endodontist catches tooth pulp issues early, then chances are that treatment will be less invasive. The specific treatment you'll need will depend on the circumstances of your issue, which your endodontist can assess and diagnose.

Our services include root canals, root canal retreatment, endodontic surgery and treatment for dental injuries

What are some tooth pulp conditions?


Tooth decay, unexpected traumas, and persistent tooth grinding can all expose your pulp and put it at risk of infection. Pulpitis is an inflammation of the pulp of your tooth that might be reversible or irreversible. Both forms of pulpitis can induce discomfort as well as inflammation and sensitivity. Irreversible pulpitis causes more severe symptoms.

Reversible pulpitis is classified as mild inflammation that can be reversed and generally only causes mild pain. Irreversible pulpitis means the tooth cannot be saved and can cause severe, lingering pain.

Pulp necrosis

The death of the pulp inside your tooth is referred to as pulp necrosis. This is usually caused by advanced tooth decay. A tooth abscess can spread to other regions of your body and be fatal if left untreated. A root canal may be able to save a tooth in certain circumstances; in others, your tooth may need to be removed.

Dental pulp calcification

Dental pulp calcification is a condition in which hard calcium lumps grow in your pulp. These "pulp stones" might form in one or all of your teeth. They can either float freely in the pulp of your tooth or bond to the dentin around it.

If you have any more questions about tooth pulp, contact our Toronto endodontists today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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