Answers To 3 Common Questions About Pulpitis And Sensitive Teeth


Pulpiptis is a dental condition caused by the inflammation of pulp at the core of a tooth. Though few people understand this condition, it is one of the most frequent causes of sensitive teeth. If you would like to increase your understanding of this common dental problem, read on. This article will provide answers to three key questions about pulpitis.

What causes pulpitis?

First, it is important to understand that teeth are living things. They are filled with so-called pulp, which is made up of blood vessels, nerve tissue, and other cellular matter. Like all living parts of your body, your teeth require blood to continue surviving.

Pulpitis arises when a tooth's pulp becomes inflamed through trauma, disease, or infection. To try and heal the tooth, your body increases the amount of blood flowing into the core. As a result, the pressure inside of the tooth increases. And because a tooth cannot expand to accommodate this added pressure, the result is an increase in sensitivity--and eventually pain.

What are the treatment options for pulpitis?

The appropriate treatment option depends on which form of pulpitis you are dealing with, reversible or irreversible. Reversible pulpitis, as its name may suggest, is the more easily treatable form. In this case, it is possible for the tooth to heal itself with little more than time and proper oral care. If the sensitivity is causing too much discomfort, your dentist may opt to prescribe a desensitizing medicine or toothpaste.

Irreversible pulpitis, on the other hand, is pulpitis from which a tooth is unable to recover. In other words, sooner or later the pulp inside of the tooth will die. This form of pulpitis is especially dangerous because it can lead to abscesses and serious infections. In order to minimize the risk of this happening, a root canal is often used to remove the dying pulp and sterilize any infected tissue.

Which type of pulpitis am I dealing with?

The only surefire way to determine whether you've got reversible or irreversible pulpitis is to schedule an evaluation with your dentist. They will perform a battery of tests involving the exposure of the sensitive tooth to different types of stimuli. The goal is to determine both the extent of your sensitivity, and the particular stimuli that trigger it.

Reversible pulpitis is generally characterized by its sharp response to such stimuli as heat and cold. Once this stimulus is taken away again, the sensitivity will drop off relatively quickly. With irreversible pulpitis, however, such stimuli will continue to cause sensitivity even after they have been removed. Finally, if the stimuli does not produce any response, this is a sign that the tissue inside of the tooth has already died.

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FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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