Reversible Pulpitis

The words hung in the air and the implied meaning struck me like a hammer. There was no way I was going to allow this dentist to make a permanent hole in my tooth and then fill it after hearing the word, ‘reversible’. I was going to do a little research first. I feared that what the dentist wanted to do and what was really necessary were two very divergent realities. Turns out that I was right.

I did my research. The majority of the sources I checked indicated that reversible pulpitis will go away without intervention. So why did this dentist want to drill into my perfectly good tooth? That is a question that still disturbs me, more than a year later.

It does appear that there is a ‘gray’ area nestled in among the qualified opinions of dentists. Some believe that the very beginning of tooth decay should be immediately drilled and filled. Others are not so quick on the draw.

Having a number of negative experiences with dentists, I’ve become a bit cautious around them. It seems to have paid off on at least a couple of occasions to hold off on ‘immediate’ treatment and do a little research first.

I equate the dentist attempting to ‘start right away’ with the type of high pressure tactics that often take place on a used car lot. The stakes are a little higher in the former case. The health of our teeth and gum tissue is not the realm where sharp salesman or NLP wielding marketers should tread. Yet, the phrase, ‘let the buyer beware’ still seems apropos.

What happened at the end of my story? I dropped that dentist like a bad habit. I was so sure that nothing was wrong that I didn’t even bother getting a second opinion. Six months later, I went to another dentist and guess what? There was no cavity in sight. “But, isn’t it in my chart?”, I asked. “Yes, I see it in there.” Not wanting to harm the reputation of the other dentist, I decided not to say anymore.

I’ve thought a lot about it though. The words that first dentist said before declaring her wish to drill and fill my tooth were about her impending wedding. I can’t help but think she felt some special need to make more money then her usual take.

I briefly considered reporting her to the state board that regulates her profession. I decided not to. I believe in the saying, ‘what goes around, comes around’. I don’t wish for anything bad to happen to this dentist. I just believe that there is a universal justice system that balances things out in the end.

In any case, I’m glad that I didn’t have a cavity that was permanent. The moral of this story is to underscore a point that I think is important. The body does have the ability to heal itself. Softness in dental enamel is no different. Still, perhaps there are times when it cannot.

Of course, I’m not a dentist and I’m not suggesting self diagnosis or treatment. If you have or think you might have a cavity or any other dental condition, you should go to your dentist for diagnosis and treatment.

But it does appear that sometimes you can start to develop a cavity and it can go away. I found a reference to a November 1991 study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation in PubMed. (PMID 1762023). This study was conducted by the Dental Research Unit of Hadassah Medical School located in Jerusalem, Israel.

After intentionally softening enamel utilizing a popular cola drink, they found significant hardening of the enamel from eating hard cheese. This is important because it suggests that when the tooth enamel is weakened it can become strong again.

That makes sense because the human body is not a machine in the true sense. For example, a car doesn’t have any self-healing mechanisms. It breaks down sooner than a human body and requires external intervention to keep it running. The human body has many ways to heal itself in contrast. Consider a cut or an abrasion and how the body can often repair those problems without serious medical intervention.

Remember, if you have or think you might have any dental problems at all, be sure to consult your dentist for diagnosis and treatment.

If you want to read more about taking care of your teeth and gums, including things that may help your enamel to stay tough, consider my inexpensive but worthwhile e-book. You can find it at:

David Snape grew up in small town New Jersey and joined the US Navy when he was 18. He worked as an electronics technician. David attended Chiropractic school after the Navy and later worked in a toxicology lab. Currently he labors in Information Technology. David believes in and practices Falun Dafa meditation. David is also the author of What You Should Know about Gum Disease. ISBN: 978-0-9814855-0-8. He also writes for All Things Pondered and ToBeInformed.

*the USFDA has not evaluated statements on this page.

About the author