of teeth is a bacterial condition that causes inflammation of the dental pulp. The tooth pulp is found at the innermost of the teeth and is made up of connective tissues, blood supply and nerves. If the inflammation is not intensive, the symptoms can be relieved without the pulp suffering any damage. On the other hand, it the inflammation is intensive and severe, the pulp may die. On top of bacterial infection, pulpitis may also result from periodontist or repetitive trauma on the teeth. The inflammation will exert pressure on the pulp cavity which can result to extreme pain on the patient. In some cases the pain may be severe such that the patient is unable to locate the source of pain. This may make the patient to confuse the pain as coming from neighboring teeth and this makes it difficult to treat the inflammation.
Depending on the nature of inflammation,
pulpitis can be classified into chronic and acute.
Acute pulpitis will take two forms which are gangrenous pulpitis and purulent pulpitis. Purulent pulpitis is the situation when the pulp becomes completely inflamed while gangrenous pulpitis is a situation when the pulp starts to die. A further classification of pulpitis is reversible and irreversible pulpitis . Reversible pulpitis causes mild inflammation and results from exposure or irritations that result during cavity preparation. This type of pulpitis can heal naturally without administering any form of medication. Irreversible pulpitis on the other hand causes major inflammation and it is treated through root canal or tooth extraction.
Pulpitis symptoms may include tooth abscess, teeth changing color, varying degree of pain and even headaches (and these type of headache are most often confused with migraines), gums swelling, increased tooth sensitivity to both hot and cold stimuli.
Diagnosis of teeth pulpitis
There are two methods of diagnosing pulpitis i.e. dental x-ray and mouth examination. Dental examination – it helps to determine the extent of pulp inflammation. X-rays will clearly show if the inflammation has gone beyond tooth apex causing apical periodontitis. This procedure is also crucial in determining if the teeth are suffering from any other condition apart from pulpitis.Mouth examination – the doctor will conduct a thorough mouth examination after taking the medical history of the patient. This is followed by physical examination and clinical evaluation by using provoking stimuli for example using percussions, cold and hot stimuli.
There are two approaches when treating pulpitis. These are medication and surgery. Medication- The doctor will administer antibiotics, for example amoxicillin to relieve the symptoms and also to reduce the intensity of inflammation. This is most common with mild infections. Surgery- In case of reversible pulpitis, the pulp is maintained but the caries are removed. The tooth will be restored and it will function normally. In case of irreversible pulpitis, surgical procedure will involve total tooth extraction or root canal. Root canal is the process whereby an opening is done on the tooth through which the pulp is removed. The root canal is then shaped, debrided and thoroughly filled. Bone filling is done while the tooth is being examined radiographically.
It is important to ensure the health of your teeth through regular brushing and regular visits to your dentist. Whenever you suffer from teeth problem, it is always important to visit a qualified and experienced dentist to ensure that you receive the best care.