Teeth are living structures with a blood supply and nerves which enter the ends of the tooth roots and travel via tiny canals up into the middle of a tooth and meet in a hollow chamber in the middle of your teeth in an area called the dental pulp.
The nerves in teeth are the source of feeling to the hard tissue of the tooth called dentine. The outer coating on a tooth is called enamel and has no feeling.
Nerves can become inflamed and sore creating toothache. This can be from a deep cavity close to the dental pulp, an extra deep filling, a blow to the teeth or heavy grinding.
As dentists when a tooth becomes too painful we can treat the toothache by a treatment called root canal treatment.
This involves numbing the tooth so there is no feeling and removing the nerve, shaping the root canals, filling the root canal with a root filling and then restoring the tooth with a normal filling. This takes the pain away.
An untreated toothache can progress into forming an abscess which is an infection caused by dead nerve tissue. It is treated in a similar way to a regular toothache although antibiotics may be required.