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Cambridge City, IN
A 33-year-old female asked:

Is pulpitis & tooth abscess the same thing, if not which one is more dangerous? how long is to long to wait to get treatment for either one? thanks

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Zimon
Internal Medicine 60 years experience
Pulpitis: is a non infected inflammation of the contents of the tooth and generally means the tooth is injured or a cavity has reached a depth where infection is beginning. An abscess occurs when pulpitis is not treated (root canal treatment) Hope this is helpful and will follow for my dental colleague's answers to this question.. Dr Z
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
...itis: ...itis means inflammation. If the pulp of a tooth becomes inflamed, often by trauma, the swelling within the hard enclosed pulp chamber can lead to pulpal necrosis, dead tissue. Pulpitis can also be caused by invading bacteria from a cavity which results in abscess, spreading infection. Both require immediate treatment, there is no buffer time. Both can be quite destructive.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 41 years experience
Not the same: Pulpitis is inflammation of the living nerve inside your tooth. An abscess can occur when the living nerve tissue inside the tooth dies and toxins are released into the bone surrounding the tooth. Treatment for pulpitis varies depending on the cause. An abscess should be immediately treated to prevent spread of infection and potential loss of the tooth. Your local dentist can guide you further.

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Last updated Jan 13, 2019

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