What is reversible pulpitis? – ask a City of London dentist
Pulpitis is the inflammation of the dental pulp, which includes the dental nerve and blood supply located within the tooth. If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected it can be the source of very nasty pain.
Pulpitis is caused by bacterial infection of the dental pulp, initially caused by dental cavities. Once the infection penetrates to the centre of the tooth it will cause a toothache that may be intense and intermittent or dull and throbbing and can be very severe. These are known as acute and chronic pulpitis and are caused by slightly different areas of the pulp becoming infected.
Pulpitis can also be classified as reversible and irreversible. This distinction is made by the level of inflammation that has occurred and whether it is possible for the inflammation to disappear on its own or whether it will need dental treatment. Reversible pulpitis is more mild inflammation caused by dental caries that should heal naturally. Irreversible pulpitis will need a treatment called a root canal to remove the infection and bring an end to the pain. However, it is important that if you suspect an inflammation of any sort has occurred, that you see a City of London dentist as soon as possible. This is because even if the pain has disappeared, it may be as the result of the death of the dental nerve, rather than the inflammation receding naturally.
If the infection is deemed to be irreversible, your dentist will need to carry out a root canal, a procedure with a fearsome reputation, but one that may be slightly undeserved. A well-performed root canal should be no more painful than a filling or crown.