The hard outer surface on your teeth is called the enamel. The pulp is a softer layer deep inside the tooth. The pulp contains the tooth's blood vessels and nerves.
Pulpitis is painful inflammation (swelling) of your tooth pulp.
Pulpitis is usually caused by tooth decay
Injury to your tooth can also cause pulpitis
If treated, mild pulpitis usually gets better with no problems
Pulpitis can lead to infection that can spread to your jaw or other parts of your body
Dentists treat severe pulpitis by doing a root canal or taking out the tooth
Causes of pulpitis include:
Pulpitis that involves infection by bacteria usually causes constant pain. The bacteria may form a collection of pus called an abscess. Sometimes the infection can spread to other parts of your body. If you have an abscess, the tooth is very painful and is sensitive to pressure or tapping with a dental tool.
For mild pulpitis, dentists will take out any decay and fill the cavities. Sometimes dentists use a temporary filling with pain medicine in it for 6 to 8 weeks before putting in a permanent one.
If the pulp is badly damaged and can't be healed, dentists will give you pain medicine and either:
If you have an infection, they'll also give you antibiotics.