The inflammation of the pulp of the tooth occurs during dental cavities. The inflammation of the pulp, which contains living cells, nerves, and blood vessels, will most likely, at this stage of tooth decay, produce pain. Survival of the tooth is critical at this stage. Prolonged irritation or inflammation of the tooth may cause its death, or it may lead to abscess formation, a severely inflamed, hollow area under the root. This may require tooth extraction. Antibiotics are normally given before extraction and also to prevent bacteria from spreading through the blood stream causing serious illness.