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Posted on Jul 7, 2017 in Dental Health, Dental Routines

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

A patient has a terrible tooth ache. They had a root canal at a local periodontist and several months later, they are experiencing severe pain and sensitivity in that tooth. What happened? It’s pulp fiction.

Let’s start with tooth anatomy.

The dental pulp is the part in the center of a tooth made up of living connective tissue and cells called odontoblasts. The dental pulp is a part of the dentin–pulp complex (endodontium).

What is the function of tooth pulp?

The pulp has several important functions. Although the primary function of tooth pulp is the formation of dentin, it has several other functions as well.

Functions of tooth pulp include:

  • Sensory Function – Pain from trauma to the dentin and/or pulp, differences in temperature, and pressure are caused by stimulation of the pulp.
  • Formation of Dentin – The pulp is responsible for the formation of dentin. In response to trauma, the pulp forms secondary dentin, also known as reparative dentin.
  • Nourishment – The pulp contains blood vessels that help to prevent the tooth from becoming brittle by keeping it moisturized and nourished.

Tooth pulp is literally the most vital part of the tooth.

How does the pulp get infected?

When pulp is damaged, it breaks down, and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other dying pulp remnants can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root.

If you are experiencing a tooth ache, contact Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth today for a dental exam.

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