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Reversible pulpitis

toothache from pulipitis

Summary

Pulpitis is a very common cause of toothache. It can be defined as inflammation of the dental pulp (the nerve and blood supply inside a tooth). Pulpitis is broken down in Reversible and Irreversible.

As the name suggests in reversible pulpitis the dental pulp can return to normal once the cause of the inflammation has been removed. 

Features

  • Pain brought on by hot, cold or sugar
  • Pain is short lived - usually less than 60 seconds
  • No pain on biting or pressing the tooth
  • No swelling around the tooth
  • Sometimes difficult to work out exactly where the pain is coming from

Home care advice

The best treatment for pulpitis depends on what is causing it. If is is caused by a simple lost or broken filling then the filling can be patched up temporarily with a DIY temporary filling kit.

However if the tooth is decayed but there is no hole then DIY is not an option:

  • Painkillers (paracetamol is usually the first option to try) - over 16 year olds can combine paracetamol  with an NSAID (such as Ibuprofen) if necessary.
  • Gels that anaesthetise (numb) the area. They usually contain either Benzocaine or lidocaine.
  • Natural remedies may offer some relief such as Clove Oil which contains eugenol - a natural anaesthetic and antiseptic.

If the pulpitis is cause by the exposure of dentine or a small chip that temporary filling will not stick to then some relief may be achieved by rubbing a sensitive toothpaste on the area.

PLEASE NOTE ALL THESE TREATMENTS ARE TEMPORARY FIXES AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO VISIT A DENTIST ONCE THE LOCKDOWN IS LIFTED

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Causes

The most common causes of irreversible pulpitis are:

Treatment

Irreversible pulpitis is treated by removing the stimulus that is causing the problem. Decay should be removed by your dentist and the tooth restored with a filling, onlay or crown. If the decay extends close to the dental pulp then it is possible that the damage to the pulp becomes more severe and the diagnosis becomes an irreversible pulpitis and requires the tooth to be root filled or extracted.

Written by Andrew Bain BDS MJDF (RCS Eng)
Apr 27, 2020