Sudden, unbearable, sharp, and acute pain that torments and prevents you from working, studying, or sleeping at night can be a symptom of an inflammatory process in the oral cavity. Therefore, it is worthwhile to figure out what it is – Dental pulpitis, what is its definition in dentistry, how to determine the presence of such a problem, and how it is treated, and also consider photo examples.

This disease requires immediate medical intervention, not only because of the deterioration in the quality of life but also to stop possible complications in the future. It is hardly possible to solve the problem on your own, since the soft tissue, which is negatively affected by various infections, is hidden under a dense and durable, hard coating. From the outside, the surface may well look intact, without damage, but inside there are pathological processes that cannot be ignored.

Dental Pulpitis

The essence of the phenomenon

To understand that you have Dental pulpitis and what a pulpit tooth is, how to recognize what it is, to identify the cause and prescribe treatment, you must first figure out what it is and how it occurs. In fact, everything is quite simple, the pulp is the soft tissue located inside the root canal and crown. It consists of collagen, elastin, lymphatic and blood vessels, as well as a large number of nerve fibers, thanks to which the pulp performs a sensory function.

Sometimes a variety of pathogenic microflora can penetrate inside, for example, through microcracks in the bone membrane or carious cavities. Most often it is represented by staphylococci and streptococci. With damage to the nerves, pains of really high intensity develop, which are almost impossible to endure without special anesthesia. Only potent analgesic drugs can relieve symptoms, and even then, not in every case.

Inside the pulp chamber, an infectious process begins to develop, and harmful bacteria and other microorganisms multiply at a high rate because for them there is an optimal humid environment and a suitable temperature. As a result, the connective tissue and nerve endings gradually die off, and pus forms in the canal, since it has nowhere to go. As a result, a person can lose a tooth, when it is possible to remove the affected pulp only together with the entire structure.

Dental Pulpitis Causes

The standard consequence of the development of a pathogenic environment and the inflammation that it caused is unbearable pain. According to statistics, in world dentistry, about 18-20% of all visits to a doctor are due to this.

The most common prerequisites are the following:

  • Periodontal injuries arise from various causes. Most often we are talking about a burn when turning the surface before installing the crown. However, it can also be mechanical damage, such as a chip, bruise, or crack, for example, when falling.
  • Caries. It can not only significantly spoil the appearance and smile, but also breaks the hard shells, allowing bacteria to penetrate deep into them.
  • Influence of caustic chemicals. For example, it can be acids, alkalis, various medications, toxic filling composition, and much more.
  • Sudden jumps in temperature (hot-cold) when eating food.
  • Individual susceptibility to surface abrasion and mineral deposits inside the chamber.

The disease can also develop due to various comorbidities, even when the integrity of the hard shell is not broken. Then the infections penetrate into the internal cavity through the root or the bloodstream. This happens with a neglected form of periodontal disease, sepsis, or with the development of cysts.

Classification of Dental Pulpitis

To understand what kind of dental pulpit pain exists, whether a tooth hurts during pulpitis, and how long it can bother, you must first find out what stages of the disease are. A common symptom in all cases is really unbearable pain. In fact, there are two main forms, but there are several accompanying varieties. It makes sense to delve into this issue for a better understanding.


This option is accompanied by sharp, unexpected pain sensations that roll into a kind of seizure. Most often, they appear at night, do not depend on any external stimuli, and are not stopped by the usual analgesic drugs that are available in the first-aid kit and/or are offered in pharmacies without a prescription. Yes, and special medicines can be quite difficult to help.

At first, a dark spot can be distinguished on the surface, which gradually grows, and eventually even affects the channels. If the inflammatory process does not end within 2-3 weeks, then it is believed that the pathology has passed into a chronic form, which we will discuss later. Acute-type dentists, including the specialists of the Dentika clinic, are conditionally divided into several subtypes:

  • Serous. Most often manifested in young children with temporary teeth. Usually has an infectious etiology, and attacks of unpleasant sensations are short only a few minutes.
  • Focal. It lasts no more than a couple of days and is characterized by pain that lasts about 15-20 minutes in a row, at intervals of up to several hours. May be accompanied by swelling of the gums.
  • Purulent. The inner chamber of the affected dentition is filled with dead elastin, collagen fibers, and other parts of the pulp, that is, pus. The condition can worsen every hour, a powerful pulsation is clearly visible inside.
  • Diffuse. It often extends not only to the cavity but also to the roots and nerve endings inside them. The blood supply to soft tissues, therefore, also their nutrition and respiration, is disturbed or completely stopped. Unpleasant sensations are similar to those that a person feels during a purulent process.


There are also several separate subspecies, which also do not hurt to study in more detail:

  • Hypertrophic. The main characteristic is that inside the carious hole, you can see the flesh of a bright red color. When pressed, it can bleed quite heavily.
  • Fibrous. These are the consequences of an acute form that has not been controlled for a long time. Often, its course is hidden, and manifestations occur occasionally over several weeks or even months. Pain occurs infrequently, and is not accompanied by swelling.
  • Gangrenous. With it, the pulp tissues die off, and the coronal region quickly collapses.
  • Aggravated. This is the most severe stage of the disease, in which all the symptoms are combined. There is a high probability of an infectious lesion of the periodontium, which causes periodontitis, as well as large-scale destruction of the bone bases.

irreversible pulpitis

Such uncontrolled processes, that is, untreated in time, are dangerous for the subsequent impossibility of applying methods of conservative therapy. Then surgery will be required, implying the truncation of the pulpal nucleus or even the entire element. Experienced specialists of the dental clinic “Dentika” know exactly how to stop acute processes, preventing them from developing into chronic ones.


This form primarily differs from those already described above, in that the prerequisites for it are completely different. The infection penetrates the pulp not from the outside, but from the inside. There are a number of reasons why such a pathology develops:

  • Periodontal disease. Due to the development of periodontitis, a kind of deep cavities or pockets can form. Bacteria and dead cells begin to accumulate in them, which eventually penetrate into the pulp nucleus.
  • Accompanying illnesses. We can talk about anything that has an infectious basis, for example, a cyst, chickenpox or flu, sepsis, sinusitis, etc.

The clinical picture of this species is also not the same as the previous options. The pains may be throbbing, but may not be particularly disturbing, rolling in for short periods.

Other types

There are a few more classic manifestations that also do not hurt to clarify:

  • Three-channel. Permanent chewing elements with three channels, respectively, have separate pulps. Cleaning of each of them should be carried out exclusively by a competent specialist. Sometimes a microscope is used for this.
  • Traumatic. Occasionally, the prerequisite for the development of the disease is not an infection brought inside from the outside or from the inside, but mechanical damage or other trauma. It can be a blow, a severe bruise, a chip, or exposure to medications, acids, alkalis, or poor-quality therapy.

Basically, all these ailments are treated by truncation of soft tissues, but in some cases, the doctor can save them, at least partially.

Symptoms, signs, and treatment: what do dental pulpitis look like in a picture

At first, in the prevailing number of situations, there are no special manifestations of the pathology. Sensory signals differ only in increased sensitivity to various external stimuli:

  • Temperature;
  • Acids;
  • Pressure.

If you do not take up therapy in time, the condition will constantly worsen. Acute, sharp painful sensations develop, which appear suddenly, and can last up to several hours in a row. At first, they can be stopped with ordinary painkillers, but then they stop working. This means that the disease is progressing, so you should immediately contact the professional doctors of the Dentika Dental Center.

How do ultrasonic teeth cleaning work and what is ultrasonic cleaning

Sometimes, in the absence of carious cavities, against the background of severe pain, it can be really difficult to determine which element hurts. Then focus on the following indicators:

  • Gray-earthy color;
  • Growing tissues;
  • Mobility;
  • The presence of swelling;
  • Redness;
  • Bleeding.

Diagnostic methods of dental pulpitis

On the x-ray, the dentist can see dental pulpitis and the initial pulpitis on the gum or under the crown, however, visual signs are not found in every case, although quite often. Doctors mean several basic ways to recognize the problem:

  • Examination by a specialist using a mirror and/or probe.
  • Electroodontodiagnostics, which is a light discharge of current that affects the crown.
  • Thermometry, that is tests using different temperatures (cold-warm).
  • X-ray examination of the affected area.

dental pulpitis symptoms

Features of dental pulpitis treatment

The main goal of therapy, both conservative (biological) and surgical is the restoration of the functionality of the dentition. However, in the second case, soft tissues are partially or completely truncated. The technologies are practically the same as in the treatment of various holes, but with a greater emphasis on disinfection and medications.

Usually, the following drug options are used:

  • Proteolytic enzymes;
  • Antiseptics;
  • Antibiotics.

Most often, a variety of pastes (regenerating, anti-inflammatory) are used, which are applied to the bottom of the resulting pocket. Then it is sealed for a certain amount of time (4-7 days), after which, if there are no complaints, it is sealed.

It should be understood that the earlier the patient turns to a specialist dentist, the more likely it is that the tooth will be saved. Qualified and highly professional doctors of the Dentika clinic will quickly cope with the inflammatory process and swelling, restore the integrity of the outer crown, and help restore the whiteness of the enamel.

Is it possible for dental pulpitis to cure folk remedies?

Therapy in this way usually does not work. No tinctures, decoctions, or other means will affect the internal processes occurring in the pulp pocket. They can have a temporary effect of relieving symptoms, which will only hide the pathology and allow it to develop further. Therefore, one should not rely on such methods, due to their absolute inefficiency.

Possible Complications

It is extremely important to understand what it is and why dental pulpitis is dangerous, what will happen if it is not treated, and how the symptoms of the aggravation of the overall picture appear. What is easy to treat initially may well develop into something more:

  • Inflammation of the periosteum (flux), is called periostitis.
  • The defeat of hard tissues around the root of the element is periodontitis.
  • Blood poisoning, sepsis.
  • Severe purulent inflammation is often accompanied by the intoxication of the whole organism (abscess).
  • Chronic diseases of various internal organs and systems.

Dental Pulpitis Prevention

It is much easier to prevent any pathology than to treat it later, therefore it is better to carry out all kinds of preventive measures in time, which most likely will not allow the disease to develop:

  • Always brush your teeth after eating or at least rinse your mouth.
  • Visit the dentist on time. Ideally, a visit to the doctor should be scheduled every six months, even if it seems that there are no problems.
  • Timely remove tartar and eliminate plaque, and treat teeth immediately with the development of any pathologies.
  • Refuse to use toothpicks or other traumatic objects.
  • Use thread.
  • End bad habits once and for all. Tobacco smoking and drinking alcohol negatively affect the enamel and the body as a whole.
  • Provide a balanced, nutritious diet and healthy diet, and consume more vegetables, fruits, and calcium-rich foods.
  • Cut down on sugar and unhealthy sweets.

What to do

If even the slightest signs of the disease are suddenly discovered, you should immediately seek help from a dental clinic. Only there you can quickly and efficiently pass differential diagnosis. An experienced doctor will immediately understand whether it is possible to use conservative methods of therapy or whether it is better to use surgical ones. Usually, with timely access, it is quite possible to completely restore the functionality of the element, but only in the most difficult cases, removal is recommended.

causes of dental pulpitis

Summing up

Thus, we figured out why dental pulpitis occurs and how to identify it, what features of the course of the disease, and what methods of its treatment are best used. It’s definitely impossible to get rid of the problem on your own, and traditional medicine will only help to hide it for a while. Therefore, you should, without delay, contact a professional doctor so that the pathology is not aggravated by even more serious complications.