What Is a Pulp Chamber?

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Your tooth's pulp chamber is the area within your tooth that houses the tooth pulp. Once your enamel is compromised, such as from a cavity, bacteria can enter the chamber and affect your sensitive tooth pulp. Here's how to protect the chamber area and pulp.

How Pulp Chambers Work

Your tooth is a casing system with natural layering to serve two predominant functions. The hard enamel helps break down food to support digestion. The chamber is the living region of your tooth, housing the soft, innermost part of your tooth, called dental pulp, which contains your tooth's nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue, explains the American Dental Association. The entire chamber is surrounded by hard dentin, which is protected by enamel. Blood flow through the area keeps the pulp and nerve healthy. You can think of it as the heart of your tooth. Once the area is compromised, your dentist's main concern is saving this area to keep your tooth alive.

Per the National Institutes of Health, the pulp chamber is the part of the tooth's inner cavity that is in the crown portion of the tooth. The portion of this inner cavity that extends down to the roots is called the root canal.

Treating Pulp Chamber Complications

Tooth decay from weakened enamel can reach the chamber and expose the sensitive pulp. Complications ensue when bacteria invades the area and causes infection. This infection, called pulpitis, can cause root death and tooth loss. Your dentist may recommend a root canal to save the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can severely affect all surrounding areas of your tooth. In these cases, tooth extraction may be the only treatment.

In any instance of oral infection, your dentist will treat it according to the severity and cause. It's always best to make an appointment with your dentist to pinpoint the problem. When a cavity has not reached the pulp chamber, a filling is all that's needed. But a root canal or an extraction may be required if the pulp becomes infected or if the root dies.

Tips for Keeping the Pulp Chamber Healthy

Luckily, there are many easy things you can do daily to keep your pulp chamber healthy. First, try your best to curb your sweet tooth. The acid from the sugary snacks breaks down your tooth enamel. If you do indulge in a sweet treat, swish with water afterward. Then, make sure that you follow good oral care habits. Floss and brush twice daily with a toothpaste like Colgate Total Advanced Deep Clean, which fights germs for 12 hours and helps prevent cavities.

If your mouth ever causes you discomfort, don't wait! Schedule an appointment with your dentist. The faster you seek a dental professional's care, the better you'll feel and the healthier your smile will be.

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What Are The Different Parts Of A Tooth?

Each tooth has several distinct parts; here is an overview of each part:

  • Enamel – this is the outer and hardest part of the tooth that has the most mineralized tissue in the body. It can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.

  • Dentin – this is the layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay makes it through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin — where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.

  • Pulp – this is the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are located. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain and may require a root canal procedure.