The pulp is the innermost part of your tooth containing tooth nerves, connective tissues, and blood supply. Pulpitis results from the invasion of the dental pulp by the bacteria in your mouth causing inflammation and is usually painful. Pulpitis presents itself in two common forms namely reversible and irreversible.
Reversible Pulpitis is when the mildly swells while the pulp remains healthy. In instances where there is severe inflammation, and the pulp is damaged, the condition is referred to as irreversible pulpitis.
Causes of Pulpitis
The causes of the two forms of pulpitis are classified as bacterial, physical, and chemical. Bacteria like staphylococci, streptococci, and anaerobes in the dental pulp tissue are common and cause infection. Physical causes include habits like nail-biting, teeth-gritting, and manipulation of the hairpins using the teeth. These habits lead to dental trauma and are common in children.
Some causes are due to dental procedures like caries treatment or heat generated while polishing the tooth filling. Other physical causes include barodontalgia and attrition of the teeth which exposes the dental pulp causing swelling and pulpitis. Dental pulp's reaction to arsenic found in silicate restoration of the teeth and excessive use of desensitising paste are the chemical causes of pulpitis.
Signs and Symptoms
Both forms of pulpitis are associated with pain. General symptoms include bad breath, running a fever, unpleasant mouth taste, and swelling in lymph nodes. The symptoms and signs of infection associated with irreversible pulpitis are difficulty in eating, face swelling, and a fever. They are due to progressed inflammation. The other symptom is sensitivity to highly sweetened food, cold and hot food.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dentists may derive the diagnosis of pulpitis from teeth examination, x-rays, and patient's symptom presentations. The Dentists in some cases may perform a tooth tap test, sensitivity, and electric pulp tests.
Treatment may be recommended by your dentist depending on the form of pulpitis. To put unhealthy bacteria under control, good oral hygiene practice is critical in the prevention of pulpitis.
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