The crown is the part of the tooth which shows above the gum line. The section level with the gum line is called the neck, and the part below the gum is the root. The tooth root can be twice as long as the crown.
The hard, white coating on the outside of the tooth crown is called enamel. This is the part you need to protect by brushing and flossing daily. Under the enamel there is the dentine which is less hard and can be more sensitive than enamel. If decay starts on the tooth, the first layer to be touched is first enamel, then the dentine where the decay can move to quickly and arrive at the pulp (nerve) which is the vital tissue located in the middle of the tooth.
The root canal system is located in the roots of each of your teeth. If it becomes infected, you may need root canal treatment to remove the bacteria and save the tooth. The practice of this dental procedure is known as endodontics.
This pulp infection can be the result of:
If you have regular dental check-ups your dentist should be able to identify and treat any tooth decay before it penetrates the root system. However, if the infection has already spread because you didn’t see your dentist for a while than you need root canal therapy to save the tooth.
If your tooth is sensitive or painful when consuming hot or cold food and drink or if one of your teeth is loose, a root canal treatment may be needed. You’ll eventually notice these symptoms returning, possibly along with the following signs that the infection has spread much further:
Only your dentist will help you to recover from the infection by a root canal treatment which is usually done on two different stages. Root canal treatment is virtually painless and often leaves you with less discomfort during recovery than if you have your natural tooth extracted. Thanks to modern techniques and effective anaesthesia, patients who experience root canals are six times more likely to describe it as painless than patients who have a tooth extracted.
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