Pulpitis is a condition that occurs when the tooth suffers an inflammation, exerting pressure over the pulp chamber that affects the nerve and other connective tissues of the tooth. This often causes sensitivity to hot and cold food and in some cases very sweet foods. The main cause of pulpitis is pathogenic bacteria that secrets toxins which finds their way into the pulp through the carious cavity. The main causative agent of pulpitis is streptococcus. However other bacteria such as lactobacilli and staphylococci can also cause this disease. The first soft tissues to be affected are those that are close to the carious cavity. The bacteria will then get deeper into the pulp.
This is where pulpitis can be reversed if the cause of the condition is eliminated and the tooth repaired in order to stop the infection and restore the normal functioning of the tooth. In most cases, the dentist will use certain drugs that have been specially formulated to help control inflammation as well as maintain the integrity of the tooth that has been infected.
2. Irreversible pulpitis.
This is the type of pulpitis that has cause severe damage to the tooth that has been infected and cannot be reversed. As a result, the dentist will be forced to perform root canal therapy (a sequential treatment of the pulp) to help stop the infection as well as help protect the infected tooth from microbes. Root canals and their respective pulps are actually hollows within the tooth where structures such as the blood vessels, nerve tissues and another cellular entities lie. During root canal therapy, this vital structures within the root canal are usually removed in order to stop the infection.
The type of treatment administered usually depend on the type of pulpitis that has affected the patient. In this section, we are going to too focus on pulpitis treatment administered depending on type of pulpitis that the patient is suffering from.
1. Reversible pulpitis
Use of antibiotics. Reversible is not chronic meaning that the tooth can be brought to its normal functioning. The dentist can decide to use antibiotic to help kill the infection by killing the bacteria that is affecting your root canal. One of the most common antibiotic that is usually administered is known as the amoxicillin.
Photo 3. Antibiotics
Filling. Filling is a procedure that is used to restore the tooth that has been damaged as a results of pulpitis that has disrupted the normal function of the tooth. Before the dentist gives you the filling, he/she will first remove the teeth that has been affected, clean the affected area and the fill the clean cavity with a filling material. The type of filling to be administered will depend on the extent of repair, whether you have allergies for certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed as well as your personal preference.
Photo 4. Filling
Pulp capping. This technique is usually used to help prevent the dental pulp form drying after being exposed or nearly getting exposed during a cavity preparation. When dental carries are removed from the affected tooth, all of the affected dentin and soften enamel are removed.
Photo 5. Pulp capping
2. Irreversible pulpitis treatment
Root canal therapy. In case the process cannot be reversed, the dentist will be forced to use root canal therapy to help stop the infection. During this process, the dentist will make an opening to the tooth and remove the pulp. The root canal system will then be shaped, debrided and then filled with gutta percha. Sometimes the dentist may also prescribe an oral antibiotic to the patient especially if he has systemic signs of infection.
Photo 6. Root canal therapy
Extraction. If the infection is very server, the dentist may recommend tooth extraction. Tooth extraction will help eliminate the problem completely but will come at a cost and that is you will have one tooth less. Dentist usually take this option as the last result option after other procedure have failed to work because they know the impact that is has to the patient. Most patient don’t like losing their natural teeth.