Young Bui, DDS
30 East 40th Street Suite 1201
New York, NY 10016

What Damages a Tooth’s Pulp and Nerves?

 root canalThe pulp of a tooth is the part inside the tooth’s structure, underneath the hard, outer enamel layer and a layer called dentine, which is underneath. The pulp extends down below the gum line into what is called the root canal of the tooth.

The pulp section of a tooth contains nerves, blood vessels and other tissues, and its job is to supply the teeth as they grow. In mature, fully grown teeth, the pulp doesn’t have an especially important role, and teeth can be fully functional and normal looking even when the pulp has been removed in root canal surgery.
Root canal surgery is carried out when the pulp has been damaged or infected, but how does this happen to begin with?


Cavities are a common cause of pulp and nerve issues in a tooth. Cavities allow bacteria to get in to the pulp chamber and create an infection. This can, if untreated, become an abscess, which can be extremely painful and lead to complications. Antibiotics can treat the infection, but to fix the issue permanently, a root canal, or in the worst cases, tooth extraction is needed.


 root canalInjury or trauma to the tooth can be another cause of pulp damage. Teeth that are chipped, split, or knocked out of place are examples of this. If a tooth is injured or even knocked out entirely, it is important to see a dentist immediately, as this is an emergency situation where time is very important to saving the tooth and preventing dangerous infections.


Dental Work

 root canalA third cause of nerve and pulp damage can be dental work itself – particularly when repeated. This can put stress on the teeth and cause trauma. Naturally, this doesn’t mean one should avoid getting the treatment they need to keep their teeth healthy, but that it is important to be aware that repeated dental work, for instance for cosmetic purposes, may carry the risk of some nerve and pulp damage which may require future attention.

While good oral hygiene and regular check-ups can help you prevent damage to your teeth, sometimes things like injuries occur and root canal treatment is unavoidable. Fortunately, the procedure has a high success rate and can very often save a tooth.

If you have concerns about your dental pulp and nerves, please get in touch with us immediately and make an appointment with the best root canal dentist in NYC!

If you need dental care, call one of the best root canal dentists in New York at 646-205-3045. Our offices are available to help you to get the support and care you need to improve your oral health and protect your teeth.

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