At the core of each tooth there is a composition of blood vessels and nerves called pulp. The pulp rests inside an area called the root canal. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. The nerve may become damaged for the following reasons;
Decay: A bacterial infection in the tooth can progress and can track towards the nerve, eventually leading to the nerve and starting the cycle of nerve damage.
Trauma: A tooth may receive damage by trauma that can be in the form of a fracture or a strong force applied to the tooth. Both types of damage may lead to nerve problems.
An abscess is an infected and swollen region where the pus collects and be placed into 3 categories;
Acute: The symptoms usually result in very sharp intense pain eventually accompanied by swelling. Fever and loss of sleep is also common.
Chronic: Symptoms can be constant or sporadic, usually a dull throbbing which may also result in a lack of sleep. Chronic abscesses may have acute phases from time to time.
Sub-Acute: This is a condition in which patients do not suffer with any symptoms, it usually comes to light when taking an x-ray. this type of abscess can progress into acute or chronic without warning.
At times a tooth may look darker in colour than your other teeth, which means that the nerve inside your tooth is dead or dying. Without treatment the infection may spread further into your jawbone and may reach a point where the tooth is no longer restorable which may result in having the tooth taken out.