The innermost part of a tooth is the pulp. The pulp carries the tooth nerves, blood, and nutrients for the tooth. When the pulp is infected, it is called pulpitis that has symptoms of inflammation. The infection is caused by bacteria and can affect more than one tooth.
There are two types of pulp infection; irreversible and reversible pulpitis. Reversible infection happens when there is mild inflammation and the pulp can be saved from any infection. Irreversible pulp infection is when you experience severe pain and inflammation and pulp are affected beyond recovery. If irreversible pulpitis is not treated, it can lead to the formation of pus at the tooth pockets and treatment may require complete removal of the tooth.
You are highly encouraged to visit a dentist if you notice the following symptoms:
- Pain when eating
- Severe toothache that does not cool down even after taking painkillers.
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold things.
- Oral inflammation.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Badmouth taste.
- Running fever.
Cause of Pulpitis
The enamel protects the pulp from contaminants and bacterial accumulation that can lead to an infection. When the protective layers of the tooth wear put, the pulp becomes susceptible to bacterial accumulation which causes infection. The primary sign to look for is swelling and pain when chewing food.
The dentine and enamel layers wear out because of the following reasons:
- Tooth or cavity decay that erodes the protective layers.
- A cracked tooth that will expose the pulp.
- Continuous dental issues.
Risks associated with Pulpitis
- Using toothpaste that has no fluoride.
- Oral hygiene habits
- Dental care
- Bad lifestyle habits such as eating too much sugary content.
Diagnosis of Pulpitis
The teeth are examined by a dentist and X-rays are taken to look into the pulp. The sensitivity test is done to see if you feel uncomfortable if the tooth comes into contact with a cold, sweet or hot substance. The reaction to these substances will determine how deep the pulp infection is.
A dentist may also use an electric pulp tester to see how uncomfortable you get when the electrical charge is directed to your teeth. If you test positive, dental pulp treatment is initiated.
How the Treatment is done
Treatment of pulp is beneficial because it will save your natural tooth. A pulp infection needs to be reported early to increase the chances of saving your natural teeth.
During the treatment process, the pulp is removed through a hole that the dentist will make in your teeth. This process is done under local anesthesia to make you relaxed and comfortable. Disinfectant and water are flushed through the hole to kill all bacteria. Then, the dentist will seal the hole to prevent food contaminants and saliva from getting it. After a few days, the dentist may fill in your teeth.
In the event that the pulp and tooth have severely decayed, the dentist may recommend the removal of the tooth. Then after you have recovered, you can get an artificial tooth; either a dental implant or dentures.
After the dental pulp treatment, the dentist will recommend that you manage pain and infection by taking painkillers and antibiotics. You need to take the medicine and avoid chewing with the tooth that is undergoing treatment. You might not be able to resume vigorous activities after the treatment. Give it time for the tooth to be fully restored.
- Regular brushing of teeth.
- Avoid eating sugary teeth when you about to sleep. Sugary stuff creates a good environment for bacterial growth.
- Visit a dentist twice a year for professional teeth cleaning and general checkup.
Benefits of Dental Pulp Treatment
- It will save your natural teeth
- It is done under anesthesia so you will not feel pain during the process.
- It is an outpatient treatment
- You are allowed to take painkillers and antibiotics to take care of the affected area.
- You need a fewer appointment with the dentist
- You will receive a guide on how to take care of your teeth after the procedure
- The treatment procedure takes a few hours depending on how many teeth are affected.