From Inflammation to Infection: The Progression of Pulpitis


Pulpitis refers to the inflammation of the pulp. It is the innermost part of your tooth that consists of cells, connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. It helps provide the necessary nutrition to the tooth. The bacteria may enter the tooth and left untreated can seep into the pulp causing painful symptoms. 

Any pain or discomfort can be effectively treated by the Monterey Park, CA dentist, and their team of specialists to alleviate the symptoms and restore your oral health. Let’s read further about pulpitis!

A comprehensive guide to pulpitis 

Any infection, irritation, or inflammation of the pulp is known as pulpitis. This often occurs due to decay, cavities, abnormal teeth grinding, or trauma. 

There are two types of pulpitis, namely:

  • Reversible pulpitis
  • Irreversible pulpitis
Pulp is the innermost soft tissue of your teeth encased within the pulp cavity. It contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The pulp supplies blood and nutrients to the hard, outer layers of your teeth to keep them healthy. 

Pulpitis etiology 

Any extensive trauma or infection to the enamel can lead to pulpitis. This may occur due to:

  • Cavities: Bacteria in your mouth produce harmful acids that demineralize the enamel layer and erode the pulp.
  • Cracks: Small fissures or pits in the enamel can occur if you chew on hard foods or injure your tooth.
  • Dental procedures: Certain dental treatments can accidentally harm the enamel due to increased heat, especially if the tooth has not been sealed correctly.
  • Enamel attrition: Worn-out enamel due to grinding of the teeth or aggressive brushing can expose your dentin and pulp, resulting in inflammation. 

Clinical features of pulpitis

The classical symptoms of pulpitis are toothache and sensitivity. However, symptoms may vary based on the type of pulpitis. These include:

Symptoms of reversible pulpitis:

  • There is usually mild to no pain when the dentist taps your tooth
  • No sensitivity to heat
  • You may experience mild sensitivity to cold things

Symptoms of irreversible pulpitis:

  • Intense pain when the dentist taps your tooth
  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, and sweets that lasts more than a few seconds. 
  • The pain can be throbbing or sharp aching pain
  • Swelling around the affected tooth 
  • Facial swelling
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Tenderness
  • Mild-grade fever

Diagnosing pulpitis

Your dentist can diagnose pulpitis through:

  • Tooth tapping
  • Heat or cold test
  • Electric pulp test
  • Dental X-rays

Effective treatment modalities for pulpitis

Treatment for pulpitis depends on the type and extent of inflammation. 

Options include:

  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Root canal treatment 
  • Tooth extraction 

Winding up

Pulpitis is an inflammation of the pulp. If you notice any pain,  discomfort, or increased tooth sensitivity seek dental help to reverse the inflammation, since untreated cases can compromise your oral health.

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