Possible Symptoms for Endodontal Disease
1. Tooth pain
Endodontal disease goes by many names: endodontic disease, pulpitis, and most commonly, toothache. The main symptom associated with this uncomfortable condition is a pain in one or more of your teeth. It most often occurs when eating something extremely hot, extremely cold, or sweet.
2. Mouth pain
Pain doesn’t just affect your teeth when endodontal disease is the cause. In many cases, you can experience sudden pain in your mouth for no clear reason. This pain is often intense, which can be frightening at times.
Sometimes, the mouth or the area around the affected tooth can become inflamed as a result of the endodontal disease. It will feel sore or swollen and have greater sensitivity to pain associated with the condition.
4. Severe symptoms
Pulpitis is the inflammation of the pulp in the tooth and can create intense symptoms that are also signs of infection. These can include bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. These are all signs that the illness has become severe, potentially even irreversible.
Top 4 Causes of Endodontal Disease
In children, the most common cause of endodontal disease is poor dental hygiene. When people don’t take care of their teeth and clean them regularly, they can experience damage to the pulp inside the teeth. The pulp is the sensitive tissue inside the tooth that helps the teeth grow and stay healthy. When a child—or an adult for that matter—has a cavity that is not taken care of, it can lead to endodontal disease, which is a result of tooth erosion.
A severe injury to the mouth can sometimes lead to endodontal disease. An impact on the tooth can result in damage to the pulp inside it, causing inflammation and other problems. If the issue is not taken care of, it can continue getting worse until the tooth dies.
3. Grinding your teeth
Those who consistently grind their teeth can also damage their dental pulp, creating problems with endodontal disease. This is because grinding causes repeated trauma to the teeth similar to the way that jaw misalignment does. Grinding creates injury over a long period of time.
4. Fractured tooth
If you fracture or chip your tooth, it might not be the impact that causes the problem. Instead, exposing the pulp inside your teeth to the elements can potentially lead to inflammation, infection, and eventually, endodontal disease.
2 Ways to Prevent Endodontal Disease
1. Dental care
The best way to prevent endodontal disease is to take good care of your teeth. Most people know that eating sweets isn’t good for their dental health, but they do so anyway. Cutting down on these foods can be a great way to avoid the problem, as can be brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and using mouthwash. Also, make sure to brush for at least two minutes each time.
2. Regular dental visits
Regularly seeing your dentist is another way to protect yourself from endodontal disease. Your dentist will provide you with regular cleanings as well as information about ways to prevent any dental problems. For example, if you consistently grind your teeth, your dentist might suggest a tooth guard in order to protect the teeth and reduce the risk of endodontal disease, as well as other issues.
Possible Endodontal Disease Treatment Options
1. Filling the cavity
If you are one of the many individuals who experience pulpitis as a result of a cavity, getting the cavity filled should manage the issue. This will be done in a dentist’s office and will involve the dentist removing the area that has been affected by the cavity and filling it. Afterward, the inflammation will go down and the results of endodontal disease will disappear. However, this is only an option if you have reversible pulpitis.
2. Root canal
Those with irreversible pulpitis probably need to have a root canal, or pulpectomy, which is a treatment that requires removing the pulp inside the tooth after an infection has led to endodontal disease. After the infected pulp and nerves are removed from the tooth, the dentist cleans and seals the inside of the tooth. This procedure can be extremely uncomfortable, but it is preferable to further issues with the tooth.
3. Tooth extraction
Sometimes, the tooth has become so affected by endodontal disease that it dies. A dying tooth will cause the symptoms listed above that are associated with the severe endodontal disease as well as intense pain; discoloration of the tooth that turns it from white to yellow, gray, brown, or black, bruising of the tooth, and swelling at the gums. A dead or a dying tooth will need to be completely removed, rather than just the pulp being removed.
4. Further treatment
Often, one of these treatments will handle the symptoms of endodontal disease and you will go back to having a healthy mouth. Still, some individuals experience other symptoms after their cavity filling, root canal, or tooth extraction that can be signs of further problems. If you experience a resurgence of symptoms, including swelling, pain that returns or is worse than before, or feelings of pressure inside the mouth, you may need further care.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask about Endodontal Disease
- How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?
- When was your last dental visit?
- Have you ever had a root canal or tooth extraction?
- Do you eat sweets often?
- Have your symptoms been getting more severe with time?
Endodontal Disease May Also be Known as:
- Endodontic disease
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- American Veterinary Dental College. Endodontic Disease and Root Canal Treatment. https://www.avdc.org/rootcanaltreatment.html.
- Everyday Health. Dental Pulp Diseases: The Basics. https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/oral-conditions/pulp-diseases.aspx.
- Healthline. Pulpitis. https://www.healthline.com/health/pulpitis - causes.
- Stanford Children’s Health. Toothache (Pulpitis). https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=toothache-pulpitis-90-P01876.
- WebMD. Dental health and Root Canals. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-root-canals - 1.
- WebMD. Identifying and Treating a Dead Tooth. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/dead-tooth.