The inside of each tooth contains soft tissue with nerves and blood vessels running from the root to the crown. A crack, deep cavity, or other injury to a tooth can cause the nerve to become damaged or diseased, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth and kill the living tissue. Without treatment, the resulting infection can cause pain, swelling and abscesses, loss of the diseased tooth, and eventually damage to the surrounding bone. With endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, we carefully remove the diseased tissue and nerve from the tooth and gently clean and seal the root canal to protect it from bacteria. If needed, medication or an antibiotic can also be used to control the spread of bacteria and stop infection. Finally, a crown is placed over the reshaped tooth to restore and strengthen it.