Reversible pulpitis deciduous


Reversible pupitis is a common cause of toothache in both children and adults. It is usually caused by dental decay in the tooth that has not extended into the pulp of the tooth. It can also be caused by a tooth fracture.


  • Pain on cold, hot or sweet
  • Pain usually lasts seconds or minutes
  • No pain on biting
  • Pain not usually worse at night

Reversible pulpitis is usually managed by removing the cause of the problem (decay) and restoring the tooth back into function. In some cases the decay may cause the nerve to being exposed and in these cases a procedure called Pulpotomy may be indicated.

Home care advice

Reversible pulpitis can often be managed with pain killers and hygiene measures  however if it gets more severe then it is likely to need professional attention. If the pulpitis worsens it can become an irreversible pulpitis or even an abscess. Any uncontrolled swelling especially when heading towards the neck and throat needs to be URGENTLY treated at an A&E department.

  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol in child suspensions. Please follow instructions and avoid if contraindicated for any underlying medical reasons.
  • Hot salty rinses to clean the area.
  • 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 and can bee obtained in gel form or as an essential oil

Your ooth will definitely need treatment from a dentist. The dentist will generally remove the active decay and restore the tooth with a filling or crown (usually stainless steel crown). If the nerve is affected then the inflamed part of the nerve may need to be removed (pulpotomy) In some cases they may recommend extraction of the tooth.

Written by Andrew Bain BDS MJDF (RCS Eng)
May 11, 2020