Acute Apical Periodontitis
Acute apical periodontitis is a condition in which the apical portion of a tooth’s root (i.e. its tip) becomes inflamed, following trauma or infection. The presence of inflammation makes it tender when tapping or chewing on it. Slowly applied pressure may not be as painful.
To clarify use of the term, “apical” in the diagnosis, it is becoming more commonplace to hear the term “periradicular” instead of “apical” or “periapical”. This is because the word “apical” implies that the problem originated at the tooth’s root tip; “periapical” implies that it began somewhere around the root tip. The term periradicular accurately reflects that the problem may have arisen along the root.