Pulp is made of connective tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels. It is enclosed within the central cavity of a tooth called the pulp chamber, which occupies the space in the center of the crown and extends through the roots up to the apex. Dental pulp is sometimes improperly called the nerve of the tooth.

Pulp within a tooth

The blood supply is essential for the nutrition, defence, and the continual formation of the dentin, which surrounds and protects the pulp. The nerves ensure the sensitivity of the tooth. Throughout a tooth's lifetime, a slow and progressive calcification reduces the volume of the pulp chamber.

If the pulp is destroyed, the tooth becomes weaker and more brittle, and the dead pulp tissue tends to darken the tooth to greyish colour. The health of the tooth can then be improved by root canal treatment.

Dental Anatomy

  Alveolar Bone Apex Cementum Cusp Dentin Enamel Gum Periodontal Ligament Pulp Tooth


  1. Naudin C., Grumbach N., Larousse Médical, 3ième édition, Paris, 2003.
  2. Marcovitch H., Black's Medical Dictionary, 41st edition, London, 2005.
  3. Leikin J. B., Lipsky M. S., Complete Medical Encyclopedia, First edition, New York, 2003.
  4. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (www.wikipedia.org).

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be done before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender has been used without prejudice to make reading easier.

Last update: 25th of November 2007.