Periostitis and its symptoms

Swelling of the face, abscess, constant pressure between the teeth, fever and unbearable, deep, dull and hard-to-locate pain. That’s how patients often describe periostitis. In the case of inflammation of the periosteum, the attending dentist should be consulted promptly to set up a treatment program.  Under no circumstances do we recommend treating periostitis with home remedies!

What is periostitis?

Periostitis is an inflammatory condition resulting from an infection that has entered the bone, and subsequently lies between the bone and the periosteum. It is incorrectly referred to as periostitis by non-professionals.

How does periostitis develop?

This infection does not occur directly in the bone’s connective tissue, but reaches it most often through the root canals. The principle of the infection entering into the jaw is simple. A root canal infection is most often caused by neglected and deep tooth decay. If at this stage the infection and bacteria are not completely removed from the cavities, bacteria will pass through the root canals into the bone and the periosteum. There, they cause a strong inflammation in response to damage to the body. This is accompanied by further biochemical and immunological changes. The course of periostitis may have a rapid course of action. Severe swelling of the face and neck can occur within a few hours. Accompanying symptoms are intolerable pain and a suppurative abscess. The pus resides in a pouch and its location is also very individual, most often manifested as a protruding lump. During surgical treatment the pus must be drained, and the pouch cleaned and disinfected.

Periostitis can even occur after the extraction (pulling) of a tooth. Alternatively, it occurs as a result of severe angina, colds, and trauma after an injury to the gums, teeth or jaw.

Symptoms of periostitis

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gums the pull away from the teeth and form pockets
  • Gum bleeding while brushing the teeth
  • Facial swelling
  • Neck swelling
  • Ear swelling
  • Abscess
  • Constant feeling of pressure in the tooth, or the area above the tooth or around the affected tooth is swollen
  • Toothache that intensifies while eating food
  • High temperature
  • Dull and hard-to-locate pain

Periostitis after tooth extraction

Periostitis can even occur after the extraction (pulling) of a tooth. Inflammation could always be an infection. But what causes it?

One of the most common mistakes made by many patients is the immediate rinsing of the oral cavity shortly after a tooth is pulled out. It’s important to know that after a tooth is extracted, the gum is an unprotected place, through which infection has an entrance to the nervous system and the blood circulation. The space left where the tooth was must be healed. And that takes time. A blood clot at the site of the extracted tooth begins to form almost immediately after its extraction.

Continuous rinsing or gargling causes damage to this thin layer of blood clot, and directly exposes your jaw to the risk of infection. In this way, the patient can be treated for periostitis.

Home remedies for periostitis

Dentists do not recommend the home treatment of periostitis. If a patient is suspected of having an infection or periostitis, we recommend that you contact your dentist and visit a dental emergency room immediately. Painkillers are unnecessary and ineffective in these cases. Home remedies will also not help. If the inflammation spreads from the periosteum to the cranial space as a result of home treatment, there is a risk of death.

Preventing periostitis

Consistent oral hygiene is, in particular, the best prevention of periostitis. With proper hygiene, there is no formation of dental plaque or tartar. This prevents cavities, which without treatment can go deeper and later introduce infection.

With the low immunity of dental enamel, the risks of infection also increase. Therefore, we recommend the fluoride treatment, regular preventive examinations, and dental hygienist visits.

Endodontics and Tooth Extraction to Prevent Periostitis

As soon as deep decay is diagnosed that reaches the dental pulp, or if there is a pulp necrosis, it is necessary to treat the root canals. Endodontic treatment of the root canals must be performed as soon as possible. Inflammation of the dental pulp or hinge, which is directly related to the nerves and vessels flowing into the root canals, is very painful. Endodontic treatment of the roots consists of the mechanical cleaning of the roots from infected tissues and bacteria, subsequent disinfection and hermetic sealing. This prevents the transmission of the infection to other tissues. Treatment of root canals is therefore crucial to prevent and completely eliminate inflammation. For preventive reasons, tooth extraction (pulling teeth) is sometimes necessary. This is to prevent a possible recurrent infection. Sometimes, the inflammation is also treated with a prescribed antibiotic treatment.





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