Root point inflammation: symptoms and complaints
What is a root-point infection?With a root-point inflammation there is an inflammation of the tissue that lies around the root-point of the tooth. In many cases there are no direct complaints, so that a root-point infection can spread further. Often there is a kind of pimple visible on the gums.
Origin of a root-point infectionThe inflammation is usually the result of holes (caries) that first affected the pulp. As the caries continues to expand, the root tip is affected and becomes inflamed. A root-point inflammation can also occur after improperly performed or failed root canal treatment.
SymptomsThe symptoms of a root-point infection are often different from the symptoms. The first symptom is often the outbreak of a type of pimple on the gums, at the root point. The pimple is located at the level of the middle of the tooth or slightly sideways, but can also be between two choices. This pimple is a fistula. A fistula is a non-natural connection between the skin and a body cavity. A fistula is intended to remove inflammatory moisture. A fistula on the gums almost always means inflammation or the presence of an abscess. A little pus can also come out of the fistula, which gives a bad taste in the mouth.
A fistula is not always the first symptom of a root-point infection. Sometimes there is no question of a fistula, because the inflammation does not come out. Another symptom can be a nagging pain, which becomes stronger when the tooth or molar is tapped.
ComplaintsReal symptoms of a root-point inflammation are severe toothache or toothache, often aggravated when the tooth or tooth is tapped. When the inflammation breaks outwards, a fistula, this pus can release. A foul taste then develops in the mouth. There may also be a bad breath, often the fistula is a bit hidden so that the patient does not realize that there is a fistula.
An extra-oral skin fistula is an abscess at the root tip that has broken through the skin. A well or hole may then become visible in the skin, often on the cheek or chin, from which inflammatory fluid comes.
TherapyWhen there are no complaints, a wait-and-see attitude is sometimes adopted. However, a root-point infection never goes away on its own. Often the inflammation gets worse or symptoms start when the patient's defenses are reduced. A root-point infection will therefore always have to be treated to remove it.
If the inflammation has not yet spread so far, the inflammation can be removed through a root canal treatment. Often the root tip is shortened a little and then filled with a material. When the inflammation is already further, the root point will be removed. This is called an apex resection. Hereby the tip of the root and some surrounding tissue is removed. The root canal is then closed properly. Prior to the removal of the root tip, a root canal treatment will be required at least once.
If the removal of the root tip does not help or is not possible, the entire tooth will be removed. To fill the gap, an implant with a crown or an (etching) bridge can be chosen. The disadvantage of a bridge is that the jaw bone no longer has support and will shrink. An implant, however, is a precious thing that takes a lot more time before everything looks nice. The jaw bone does retain its normal thickness and height with an implant.