PMID: 7993042Apr 1, 1994Paper

Aspects of dentinal and pulpal pain. Pain of dentinal and pulpal origin--a review for the clinician

Annals of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
D Figdor


Recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of pain arising from the dental pulp serve to benefit patients by improving the clinician's ability to diagnose and treat pain. There are two types of pain arising from the pulp which are mediated by entirely different nerve fibres, each with their own individual characteristics. One is a short, sharp fast pain which is induced by stimuli which cause a rapid fluid flow within the dentinal tubules. Such stimuli include cold, heat, air, drilling, and osmotic stimuli. Once the affected teeth are identified, they can often be treated by sealing the open, exposed dentine. The second type of pain is experienced as a slow, dull, aching, poorly localized pain which is mediated by pain fibres activated by stimuli which are noxious to the pulp, such as prolonged damaging heat and inflammatory mediators. Pain of this character can be difficult to diagnose and often indicates serious pulp damage necessitating removal of the offending pulp by endodontic therapy.

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