In order to understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of a tooth. Teeth have several layers. The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard layer called enamel. Enamel is supported by an inner layer called dentin (or dentine), which has at its center a soft tissue known as the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that are responsible for forming the surrounding dentin and enamel during tooth development.
The roots of the tooth anchor the tooth to the jawbone. The pulp receives its supply of nourishment from vessels which enter the end of the root. Although the pulp is important during development of the tooth, it is not necessary for the functioning of the tooth.
The Anatomy of a Diseased Tooth
In a diseased tooth, the pulp is infected or damaged. Tooth decay, trauma or gum disease can cause damage to the pulp. When damage occurs, the pulp will need to be removed…if damaged pulp in your tooth isn’t taken out, a severe infection can spread to surrounding tissue, including your jaw bone.