Enamel is the hard outer crystal-like layer. Dentin is the softer layer beneath the enamel. The pulp chamber contains nerves and blood vessels. It is considered the living part of the tooth.
Bacteria that are exposed to sugars or carbohydrates can make acid. The acid attacks the crystal-like substance in the tooth's outer surface. This process is known as demineralization. The first sign of this is a chalky white spot. At this stage, the decay process can be reversed. Using fluorides at home and in the dental office can help the tooth repair itself.
Demineralization continues. Enamel starts to break down. Once the enamel surface is broken, the tooth can no longer repair itself. The cavity has to be cleaned and restored/ filled by a dentist.
The decay reaches into the dentin, where it can spread and undermine the enamel.
If decay is left untreated, it will reach the tooth's pulp. This is where the tooth's nerves and blood vessels are found. The pulp becomes infected. An abscess (swelling) or a fistula (opening to the surface of the gum) can form in the soft tissues.
If your tooth's nerve chamber becomes infected by decay, root canal treatment is often the only way to save your tooth.
Inside your tooth's hard outer shell is a nourishing pulp of blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves. The root's canal, allow these vessels and nerves to extend to the bone.
Deep tooth decay, or injury can cause serious damage and infection to the pulps nerves and vessels. Root canal, also known as endodontic treatment cleans out the infected pulp chamber and canals.
Some indications of R.C.T may be:
Spontaneous pain or throbbing.
Pain while biting or chewing.
Severe decay uptill the nerve / pulp chamber or injury that causes an abscess (infection) in the bone surrounding the tooth.
Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed).