What is it?
Teeth are held in the jaw by their roots.
At the core of each tooth is a soft mass of tissue called the pulp. In a healthy tooth, the pulp contains living fibres, cells, nerves and a blood supply, extending into the root(s) through the root canal(s).
Tooth decay or injury can destroy the living pulp. Dead pulp is more prone to infection, leading to an abscess and tooth ache.
This can usually be dealt with by root treatment. Sometimes infection can persist at the end of the root, in the surrounding bone. In this case, a dentist can carry out an apicectomy.