Dental arthritis, also known as the inflammation of desmodontitis.
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Formerly called the alveolar-dental ligament, demodontitis is the connective tissue that surrounds the tooth root and separates it from the bone. Its average width is between 0.2 and 0.3 mm.
What are the possible origins of dental arthritis?
Dental arthritis is the inflammation of the desmodontium, which is the body’s reaction to physical, chemical or infectious aggression.
Infection of the pulp. At the apex of the tooth, there is no boundary between the pulp and the desmodontium, which means that if the resulting pulp infection from a large cavity extends into the ligament, it is likely to cause inflammation of the ligament.
Microbial toxins, products resulting from the destruction of necrotic pulp tissue and dead microorganisms will cause the body’s inflammatory reaction in the ligament.
Certain untimely inoculations can also cause demodontitis, such as the penetration of a foreign body into the demodontium (a bite from a toothbrush bristle, a toothpick, or a fishbone) or the filling of food between the teeth.
Sometimes acute sinusitis can cause demodontitis in the teeth closest to the infected sinuses.
The physical causes
Endodontic treatment accidents (stings, chemical burns) can cause demodontitis, as well as many traumas associated with infections (bruxism, harmful tic, occlusal disorder…).
Desmodontitis can occur as a reaction to the products used by the professional in the paste used to fill a tooth. It is called drug-induced arthritis.
Sensitivity to products differs from one individual to another, so that in some people demodontitis still exists even if all precautions have been taken.
What are the symptoms of demodontitis?
All of the above factors are likely to cause demodontitis. The body also has a memory capacity for the factor that precipitated the inflammation.
Inflammation always begins with an acute episode and becomes chronic if the cause persists, but at any time, the inflammation can return to an acute state: it is said that demodontitis “heats up”.
Typical symptoms of demodontitis are as follows:
- Localized congestion followed by edema.
- Possible formation of one or more abscesses
- A clear redness in the gum area.
- Feeling of long teeth.
- Impotence while chewing due to the painful mobility of the affected tooth
- Continuous, stabbing pain (of varying intensity) that is resistant to painkillers
Heat (e.g., a hot drink) and pressure increase compression of the nerve fibers and usually increase pain. This pain exhausts the patient because it almost never stops, unlike pain related to dental pulpitis.
How is demodontitis treated?
The treatment consists primarily of eliminating the factor or factors causing the inflammation. In the meantime, the tooth must be put to rest and subjected to as little stress as possible.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for pain, and possibly antibiotics for infections.
Once the crisis is over, it is imperative to consider long-term treatment for the cause of the inflammation (correcting an occlusive disorder, extracting an overly decayed tooth or devitalizing it, placing a tray in case of a harmful tic, etc.).
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