5 Things You Need To Know About Tooth Resorption

10 April 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Tooth resorption is a rare but very unpleasant condition that causes the tissues that make up your teeth to resorb. Resorb is a medical term that means that your tissues break down and disperse. As you can imagine, this is not something that you want to happen to your teeth! Here's what you need to know about tooth resorption. 

Are there different kinds of tooth resorption?

There are three different kinds of tooth resorption: internal, external, and root. Internal resorption occurs when the dentin and walls of the pulp resorb into the centre of the pulp, and the space they used to occupy is replaced with vascular tissue. External resorption is similar, but the empty space the dentin and pulp walls leave behind is filled with new bone instead of veins. Root resorption occurs when the roots of the teeth break down and are resorbed into the body, leaving nothing in their place.

What causes tooth resorption?

Tooth resorption is often caused by inflammation of the pulp, the tissue in the centre of your tooth. Studies have shown that trauma is the most common cause, and is responsible for 43% of cases of tooth resorption. Cavities are responsible for another 25%. Here are some other possible causes:

  • Pressure from severely crooked teeth 
  • Tumors and other growths in your mouth
  • Re-insertion of displaced or knocked out teeth
  • Braces with heavy wires
  • Aggressive orthodontic treatments

While any of these things can irritate your pulp and cause tooth resorption, you aren't completely safe if none of these situations apply to you. Sometimes, tooth resorption occurs for no identifiable reason. 

What are the signs of this condition?

Tooth resorption can be painful, but not always. It can also sometimes make the teeth look pink due to the new veins that develop inside the tooth. However, it doesn't usually cause symptoms. Many people won't know that they have this condition until their dentist takes a routine x-ray and discovers the condition. 

How often does it happen?

Fortunately, tooth resorption is a very rare condition among people with healthy teeth. It's much more common among people who have damaged or infected pulp. Studies have shown that tooth resoption affects 0.01% of the former group and 55% of the latter. 

Can it be treated?

Dentists can treat tooth resorption by performing a root canal. During this procedure, the dentist will remove the inflamed pulp from your tooth and replace it with an artificial material. If this isn't enough, your tooth may need to be pulled out.

Tooth resorption is a frightening condition, but once your dentist diagnoses it, it can be treated. Talk to experts like Sunridge Mall Peridontal Clinic for more information.