What is Granuloma?
Body’s first reaction to either a foreign body or to internal infection is expulsion. Should this be impossible due to location and/or dimensions of the foreign object, your body starts to fight by creating a block of immune cells in order to isolate it. The formation thus resulted is a granuloma. In most of the cases, granuloma must be surgically eliminated to prevent from further possible infection and mechanical consequence associated with granuloma occurrence.
What Causes Dental Granuloma?
Dental granuloma appears as a consequence to untreated infection and total or partial necrosis of the dental root (pulpitis as a result of dental cavities or trauma). Infection spreads to the bone and appears on the X rays as a bright spot. In time, this leads to the formation of a periapical cyst: the X-ray image of a cyst is very similar to that of granuloma, yet it should be slightly bigger, but that is not a must. Just like granuloma, a cyst is a defensive reaction of the body.
Dental or apical granuloma is treated by means of surgery: your dentist will most likely perform an apical resection. This procedure consists in bone curettage and removal of granuloma and implies resection (cutting) of the dental root tip (a maximum of one third of the entire root can be removed). Your dentist will offer clear in-depth post-surgery advice to help you deal with the situation. In order to avoid further infection of the incision, he or she might prescribe antibiotics. You may also be given an anti-inflammatory drug to deal with the edema. In about one week superficial healing allows removal of the stitches. However, the bone takes longer to recover.
Unfortunately, the only alternative to apical resection is tooth extraction. This is why we recommend you to get treatment of the granuloma in its early stages, to ensure apical resection can be performed flawlessly and avoid extraction. This is the best way to get rid of a granuloma that could otherwise cause further problems.