Cause of pulpitis
At the core of your teeth is a soft pulp known as “dental pulp.” This pulp sits in the main body of your teeth (known as a “crown”), and extends all the way down to the root of your teeth. This pulps home to blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that are vulnerable to infection. Once a tooth becomes damaged, bacteria seep into the cracked tooth and enter the pulp, causing pulpitis.
Pulpitis results from many reasons
- Dental cavity: Tooth decay becomes so large and deep that it reaches the pulp chamber. This is considered main cause of tooth pulp infection
- A gum abscess (or “periodontal abscess”) starts in a gum pocket outside of the tooth next to the root, which can affect reversibly to the tooth pulp
- Trauma cause injury to the teeth, resulting to exposure of pulp chamber
- Tooth sensitivity to sudden change in temperature of food/ drink may affect the dental pulp
- Tooth wear/ Fractured tooth: Brushing too hard or with too much pressure in long time may lead to tooth abrasion, causing exposure of dental pulp. Tooth wear in the elderly people also exposes the normally protected pulp to bacteria and irritating food particles
- Repeated dental procedures that disturb this tissue, or dental treatment such as a crown or a filling that gets too close to the pulp chamber.
Stages of pulpitis and associated symptoms
Phase 1: Reversible pulpitis
There is not much recognizable symptoms at the initial stage of pulp infection. Symptoms typically include mild pain, or tooth sensitivity upon eating or drinking something very hot, or cold, which are easily ignored by the patients. In some cases, pulpitis may occur even without any pain.
This initial stage only lasts in short period of time. If the disease is diagnosed soon at this phase, the treatment can offset reversible pulpitis.
Phase 2: Irriversible pulpitis
Patients face many difficulties in this phase. The symptoms are much more obvious to be awared of, which include:
- The level of pain begins to intensify and a sharp pain may be experienced in the infected tooth. Additional swelling around your face and/or neck
- Prolonged painful response to stimuli
Patients face many difficulties in this phase of pulpitis
- An abscess or lesion formed on the gum area surrounding the tooth, similar to a small pimple or blister
- Bitter and/or sour tastes in the mouth
- Extreme sensitivity or pain in your tooth when exposed to either hot or cold food/drink that lasts beyond the removal of the hot or cold food/drink
Phase 3: Necrotic (dead) pulptitis
If the damaged tooth is not repaired promptly, bacteria that enter the pulp can cause an infection that can kill the dental pulp, lead to bone loss, and potentially cause the loss of the entire tooth. The later stages of tooth abscess involve the spread of the infection from the root of the tooth to neighboring structures. The infection can spread to the alveolar bone, the bone that supports and holds the tooth. The abscess can eat away at the bone tissue, leading to bone loss and a loosening of the affected tooth. If bone loss around the tooth is significant, the infected tooth must be extracted. If left untreated, the late stages of tooth abscess can develop into potentially fatal infection
Dr. Philippe Guettier – endodontic specialist – founder of Minh Khai Dental Clinic
At Minh Khai Dental Clinic, dentists are often received knowledge updated and trained by Dr. Philippe Guettier – founder of the clinic.
Dr Philippe Guettier graduated in Medicine at the University of Paris VII in 1984 and specialized in Dentistry at Garancière Paris VII Dental School, in 1988.
In 1989, he got his post-graduate certificate in Dental Biomaterials. In 1990, he received his post-graduate certificate in Endodontics and a post-graduate certificate in Periodontology in 1991.
Since 1995, Dr Guettier has also been continuously involved as a consultant in the research and development of new endodontic products for leading dental manufacturers.
Dr. Philippe Guettier has been training root canal treatment.