Inside the crown of a tooth is an area of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth's nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels.
When the pulp becomes infected by bacteria due to a deep cavity, fracture or injury due to trauma, it can die. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down, chewing on it and applying hot or cold foods and drinks.
Without treatment, the infection will spread and the bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate. Pain usually worsens until you are forced to seek emergency dental attention. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, to prevent your surrounding teeth from shifting, and resulting in a bad bite. This can be more expensive than a root canal treatment. If you have a choice, it's always best to keep your original teeth.
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