What Is Tooth Resorption?

Tooth resorption also referred to as dental resorption, is an injury that leads to the damage of a tooth’s part or multiple parts. The many parts of a tooth affected by resorption include:

  • cementum
  • interior pulp
  • root
  • dentin

Dental resorption begins on the outer layers of teeth and gradually moves inside.

This condition can also give you inflamed gums and brown or pink spots on your teeth. But remember that it isn’t easy to identify the symptoms of resorption.

Types of tooth resorption

Resorption can be divided into two categories: external and internal. Usually, it’s easy to notice the external tooth resorption compared to internal resorption because it forms on the outside of a tooth.

Internal resorption incurs damage on the inside of a tooth and rarely happens as opposed to external resorption. It is common in men and individuals undergone major oral surgery like tooth transplantation.

Most people with internal resorption don’t know about it because it occurs inside a tooth. And the patients only become aware of this problem with their teeth when their dentist takes an X-ray during the routine oral examination. If you want to know how internal resorption looks, watch out for dark spots on the X-ray.

External dental resorption occurs more than the internal one. It can damage several parts of the outer layer of the tooth, such as dentin or cementum.
External resorption appears as chips on the outside of a tooth or teeth. If resorption has affected your tooth’s roots, the roots can appear short and flat on the X-ray.

What is normal tooth resorption?

Resorption can be very bad for adult teeth but is a normal path for baby teeth development. Resorption occurs on the roots of the primary teeth for permanent teeth to grow in.

What are the causes of dental resorption?

There are many causes of resorption and depend on the resorption type.

The cause of external resorption includes dental trauma that incurs damage to the mouth and teeth. The inflammation and bone and tissue loss become the sole reason.
Wearing dental appliances for too long, like braces or tooth grinding, can inflict such injures to the teeth.

The cause of internal resorption can be a tooth injury by physical means. It can also happen when you leave a cavity untreated, which results in inflammation inside the tooth.

Treatments for resorption

Treatment for resorption will depend on the damaged tooth’s part and its severity.

The prime goal of resorption treatment is to preserve the remaining tooth’s part that is left after the damage. During the treatment, the affected portions of teeth are removed to avoid further resorption.

The treatments include:

  • dental crown
  • gum surgery
  • root canal
  • tooth extraction

Resorption often deteriorates a person’s smile. To restore a smile, the dentist may suggest porcelain veneers or dental implants as a replacement for the tooth that was removed due to damage.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Vintage Smile Family Dentistry at (281) 251-7770.


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