Root Canals If you incur damage to the tooth pulp and are in pain, many times it can be relieved with endodontic therapy, which is commonly known as a root canal. The soft tissue portion of the tooth is known as the “pulp” and damage to it is one of the most common causes of dental pain. This area of a tooth, extending from the crown of the tooth to the root, consists of blood vessels and connective tissue. The pulp is mainly responsible for providing the nutrients necessary for a tooth to grow. This protective layer may become compromised in the case of a broken tooth or cavity due to an injury. When the tooth is compromised, germs and bacteria are able to enter the pulp chamber and cause mild to severe pain and ongoing damage. Sometimes an abscess may develop. In the case of an abscess, the patient is usually experiencing severe pain, and many times a root canal will be the only treatment that will help. A root canal can involve a deep cleaning of a tooth to remove an infection, removing the pulp and the root canals, or in some cases both.