What is Pulp?
The pulp is a soft tissue found at the center inside each tooth. It consists of tissue, nerves, and blood vessels that work to provide the tooth with oxygen and nutrients and keep it healthy. Inconsistent or absent oral health care, or traumatic injury to the teeth and gums can lead to pulp exposure, pain, and inflammation. When this occurs the primary objective of pulp therapy is to maintain the integrity and health of the tooth and the supporting tissues. This is especially important in young permanent teeth with immature roots. The pulp is integral to the normal development of the apex of the root of a tooth.
What are the Signs of Injured or Damaged Pulp?
The pulp can be exposed when the tooth is damaged by injury or decay. The exposed pulp can swell, cause severe pain, and become infected. Some warning signs of an inflamed or infected pulp are:
- Constant or unexplained pain
- Nighttime pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food temperatures
- Swelling around the infected tooth
If your child has any of these symptoms, please call our office.
What is Pulp Therapy?
There are different methods of treatment for an infected pulp, but the most common for children is a pulpotomy. If Dr. Tiffany has decided that the best course of treatment is a pulpotomy, she will describe the process to your family before the procedure. A pulpotomy removes diseased pulp while preserving as much of the healthy pulp and pulp root as possible.
Once the diseased portion has been removed an agent is placed in the tooth to prevent bacteria growth and infection and calm the nerve of the tooth. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth and minimizes the risk of future fractures. Pulpotomy can be used as a treatment on the baby or permanent teeth.