The root canal of a tooth is where the living nerves and blood vessels lie within the inner anatomy of a tooth. When a tooth sustains damage such as: deep decay, fracture, or any other type of injury, the nerve may be affected and die. When this happens, an infection may form due to bacterial growth within the area.
It is often a painful sensation that requires immediate treatment. Ultimately, this will require the removal of the nerves and blood vessels within the tooth with a procedure known as root canal therapy. Because the nerves and blood vessels are not vital to the function of the tooth, the removal of these can often be used as a type of treatment to maintain a patient's natural dentition.