Never underestimate the importance of a healthy smile. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of surveyed adults believe that a healthy smile is socially important, and 96% said that an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to a potential mate. Over half of the respondents over the age of 50 agreed that a smile is the number one physical feature that stays the most attractive as we get older.
An attractive smile is determined not just by the outward appearance of your teeth, but can be affected by what is happening inside your teeth as well. It is not always clear to see when there is a problem with your dental health, which is why endodontics is such an important field of dentistry. Endodontics deals with the tissue and nerves that exist within each tooth, also known as the “dental pulp.”
Fun Facts About Dental Pulp
- Dental pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that provide the tooth with the vital nutrients essential for keeping the tooth “alive,” healthy, and functioning.
- The pulp is the tooth’s alarm system. When something goes wrong, such as decay or trauma, the pulp sends out a warning, which you perceive as pain.
- Dental pulp is responsible for producing dentin, which is the tissue layer underneath the enamel that protects the pulp and gives a tooth its color. The pulp contains odontoblasts, which initiate the creation of dentin.
- Dental pulp is essential to tooth development, but as soon as the tooth has fully matured, it no longer needs the pulp to survive. Rather, it can get nutrients from surrounding tissue. That is why the pulp can be removed without causing harm to the tooth.
- Infected dental pulp can cause serious damage to a tooth. When the tissue becomes infected, endodontic services such as oral surgery are often needed. A root canal can save teeth that suffer from pulp trauma.
- The blood vessels and nerves present in the pulp are connected to gum tissue within the jaw. The hole at the tip, or root, of the tooth is called the apical foramen.
- Because the blood vessels and nerves connect the gums to the pulp, diseased gum tissue can cause the pulp to become infected. Infected pulp can also spread to the gums, causing gum disease.
You may not be able to see it, but dental pulp is an important part of tooth development and can have a significant effect on your oral health. If you have any additional questions about endodontics, dental pulp, or root canal surgery, please feel free to post in the comments section below.