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What is dental pulp?

The dental pulp is a mass of connective tissue that resides directly beneath the dentin layer in the tooth’s center. This tissue structure has the composition of dentin tubules. The dental pulp has a long canal at its center.

The pulp produces dentin through a cell of neural crest. These cells are in layers at the top of the pulp chamber and along the root canal.

What is dental pulp made of?

The dental pulp is made up of the lateral part of the spinal canal and the central pulp chamber. It runs through the center of each tooth, whether primary or permanent.

There is a rapid progression on the floor than on the roof or sidewall, making the pulp chamber smaller with age.

What are the causes of pulp damage to the teeth?

Two of the primary causes of tooth pulp damage are explained here.

  • Cracked tooth
  • Cavities

Cracked tooth

Exposure of the dentin and pulp due to a crack in your tooth can lead to pulp damage, which can cause severe pain for you.


The most common cause of pulp damage is cavities. Another name for this is tooth decay.

This happens because of lots of sugar consumption, bacteria, and improper brushing of your teeth.

What is a dental pulp chamber?

The dental pulp chamber is in the open center of your tooth. This open area consists mainly of the pulp chamber itself and the root canal.

The hollowed-out space between the crown of your tooth and the body is your dental pulp chamber. The root canal extends down the root of the tooth.

The pulp is directly beneath the dentin layer and is a mass of connective tissue that occupies the tooth’s center. These tissues are closely dependent on each other’s development and survival.

What happens if the pulp is damaged?

Pulp damage can result in tooth loss or breakage if exposed to disease or infection. The dental pulp is packed with sensitive nerves, tissue, and blood vessels.

Having tooth decay or tooth damage can easily expose your dental pulp because it gains protection from the complex outer layers.

When your dental pulp is exposed, it requires prompt treatment from a dental professional.

What happens if the damaged pulp is left untreated?

Your dental pulp may catch disease or infection if left damaged and untreated.

Common problems include pulpitis, the buildup of calcium in body tissue, and pulp exposure which can weaken your tooth.

You probably have reversible pulpitis if you experience temperature sensitivity or pain in your tooth whenever you eat or drink something hot, cold, or very sweet.

This is a type of disease that can lead to a dental abscess.

What is a dental pulp cavity?

The dental pulp cavity contains the root canal and the pulp chamber. Nevertheless, it is the central cavity of a tooth.

In multirooted teeth, the pulp chamber extends to the chamber’s floor. While in single-rooted teeth, the pulp chamber extends to the crown’s highest portion of the cervical margin.

How to treat your tooth with an infected pulp?

The objective of the treatment is to remove the infection. Depending upon your dentist’s recommendations, any of these treatments can bring relief:

  • The abscess needs to be opened up (incised). The dentist will make a small cut on the spot to drain the pus. Saltwater (saline) is inserted to clean out the infection.
  • Performing a root canal. You can save your tooth by eliminating the infection. Your dentist will drill a hole into your tooth, remove the diseased central tissue (pulp), and drain the abscess.
  • Sometimes, your dentist removes the tooth and drains the abscess to relieve the infection.

Can pulpitis cause jaw pain?

Pulpitis can cause jaw pain. It’s an infection that doesn’t take time to spread to other body parts if not treated correctly.

You can get two types of pulpitis infections: Reversible and Irreversible. It is reversible pulpitis when the inflammation is mild, and the pulp remains healthy enough to recover the tooth.

A periapical abscess is a kind of infection caused by irreversible pulpitis that causes jaw pain. This infection builds up at the root of the tooth.

Inflammation will not end after the treatment.

Can damaged tooth pulp heal by itself?

Damaged or infected dental pulp cannot heal by itself; it requires a root canal.

Sometimes, when patients no longer feel the pain in their teeth after suffering from a recent tooth infection, they think it has healed already. They don’t know this is just a signal that the nerves inside their tooth are finally dead.

If left untreated, the infection can spread to the brain, blood, jaw, and body.

Why is pulpitis more painful at night?

While taking your late-night meal or dinner, you could irritate or provoke your teeth, especially when you haven’t brushed them. Possibly, some piece of your food might have been stuck between your teeth and gums, causing irritation.

Due to everyday activities or distractions, you might not be aware that you have been suffering from pulpitis during the day until it is time for you to sleep.

Can pulpitis be seen on an x-ray?

Pulpitis can be seen on an x-ray. X-ray tests for pulpitis allow early detection of arising dental problems for effective treatment.

X-ray helps indicate bone changes that have already happened due to the infection inside the tooth.

An X-ray can also show various suspicious elements that may not be harmful.

Though they are not always a 100% correct indication that a root canal is required, the x-ray can be combined with other tools and tests to give a complete picture of whether pulp treatment is necessary.

Can tooth nerves heal by themselves?

The tooth’s nerves do have the ability to self-heal, though there is a length of damage that will occur. And it is only in certain circumstances that self-healing happens.

According to pulp-dentin complex experts, the damage is likely irreversible once a tooth experiences involuntary pain or pain while consuming hot foods and beverages.

Whenever a tooth develops pain when eating or drinking cold items, experts recommend that patients obtain dental care right away. That is because there is still time to save the tooth with a filling or crown.

Can bruxism cause pulpitis?

Bruxism can cause pulpitis. This happens when you grind your teeth carelessly at night. It gradually wears away the thin outer covering of the tooth and dentine. Bruxism makes the teeth vulnerable to attack by bacteria.

What are dental pulp stones?

Pulp stones are materials often found in pulp tissues. They are a distinct buildup of calcium in body tissue with Calcium-phosphorus ratios comparable to that of dentin.

There may be one or more of them in any tooth, but they are more often found within the root canal or near the pulp chamber opening.

They usually consist of dying or dead cells and concentric layers of mineralized tissue formed by surface accumulation around blood thrombi.

What is dental pulp pulpotomy?

This is a method or procedure used to save infected or decayed teeth. This procedure applies when repairing a deep cavity that exposes the pulp underneath, leaving it vulnerable to bacterial infection.

The dentist might recommend a pulpotomy when a patient needs to deal with an infection in the tooth pulp or a severe cavity.

From within the tooth’s crown, the pulp is scooped out. The tooth’s crown is the part surrounded by a thin outer covering of the tooth that you see above the gum line.

What is dental pulp capping?

This method is used by specialists to prevent pulp disease by restoring the damaged tooth after being exposed during cavity preparation.

It is also used to prevent deep cavities that reach the tooth’s center and cause the pulp to die due to trauma.

When the caries are pulled off from the tooth, all or most of the softened thin outer covering of the tooth and dentin will be pulled out with the infected parts.

This can lead to the tooth’s pulp either being exposed or nearly exposed, which may cause pulpitis.

What is dental pulp removal?

This is a procedure used to remove the soft inner material of a tooth.

It is mostly called a baby root canal because it is usually performed on children to save a severely infected primary tooth.

A pulpectomy is the first part of the root canal procedure in permanent teeth.

Can pulp stem cells regrow teeth?

Stem cells can regrow teeth. They form the basis of regenerative medicine. The pulp tissue in the dental cavity has the capacity to regenerate dentin in response to stimuli, such as caries.

According to the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Dental pulp Stem Cells (DPSCs) are ‘a promising source of cells for numerous and varied regenerative medicine applications.’


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