Tooth decay starts with a tiny hole in the enamel or outer part of the tooth. It takes some time for the decay to eat through this hard portion of the tooth, but once it does, it attacks the next layer which is softer. The dentin makes it easy for decay to spread through the tooth. Sometimes, you may notice a little discomfort when eating sweets or foods of different temperatures. When the decay attacks the pulp of the tooth, then you have a serious problem that may require general dentistry treatments.
The pulp is the nerve center of the tooth. Decay invades the root chamber and begins killing the nerves. At this point, pain can be severe. Infection sets in and an abscess forms at the base of the root. This causes swelling and tenderness. The pain from an infected tooth can be unbearable. Removing the nerve is the only way to save the tooth.
Root canal therapy is a procedure in which the decay is completely removed from the tooth and the root chamber. Once the root canal is completely cleaned out and all the dead nerve tissue removed, the area is sterilized and sealed with a special substance so that bacteria cannot enter. The remainder of the opening is filled with a suitable filling material.