Dental pulp is the soft area in the center of a tooth where the veins, nerves, and connective tissues are located. A tooth’s pulp can become irritated or infected because of:

• Deep decay
• Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
• Large dental fillings
• A chip or crack
• Trauma to the face

If the dental pulp becomes infected or diseased, Drs. McKinley and Holloway may recommend a root canal in Shelby Township, Michigan. Root canal therapy is the procedure by which our dentists remove the infected dental pulp from a tooth, then clean and seal it. There are not always symptoms, but if you experience any of the following, root canal therapy may be necessary:

• Severe toothache
• Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
• Discoloration of a tooth
• Swelling and pain in the gums
• A recurring pimple on the gums

When dental pulp becomes diseased, bacteria forms and multiplies in the pulp chamber, which can cause an infection. A pus-filled pocked called an abscess may also form at the end of the tooth roots. Bone loss may occur around the tip of the tooth’s roots if infected dental pulp is not removed.

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