The “pulp” of a tooth cannot be seen with the naked eye. Pulp is found at the center of each tooth, and is comprised of nerves, tissue, and many blood vessels, which work to channel vital nutrients and oxygen. There are several ways in which pulp can be damaged. Most commonly in children, tooth decay or traumatic injury lead to painful pulp exposure and inflammation.
Pediatric pulp therapy is known by several other names, including: root canal, pulpotomy, pulpectomy, and nerve treatment. The primary goal of pulp therapy is to treat, restore, and save the affected tooth.
Pediatric dentists perform pulp therapy on both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. Though primary teeth are eventually shed, they are needed for speech production, proper chewing, and to guide the proper alignment and spacing of permanent teeth.
What are the signs of pulp injury and infection?
Inflamed or injured pulp is exceptionally painful. Even if the source of the pain isn’t visible, it will quickly become obvious that the child needs to see the pediatric dentist.
Here are some of the other signs to look for:
- Constant unexplained pain.
- Nighttime pain.
- Sensitivity to warm and cool food temperatures.
- Swelling or redness around the affected tooth.
- Unexpected looseness or mobility of the affected tooth.