5 Things You Need To Know About Internal Root Resorption
Root resorption is a process where the cells of your tooth roots are broken down and absorbed into your body. Internal root resorption occurs when this process begins inside the tooth, rather than outside. Here are five things you need to know about internal root resorption.
What are the symptoms?
Internal root resorption tends to be asymptomatic, so you can have this condition without knowing it. The condition is usually discovered accidentally by dentists following routine x-rays. This is why it's so important to see your dentist for checkups even if your teeth seem perfectly fine; they can discover serious problems that you won't notice on your own.
While most people don't have any symptoms, some people experience pain. Other people will notice a pink spot on their tooth which later turns grey or black.
What causes internal root resorption?
Chronic inflammation of the pulp has been linked to internal root resorption. The pulp is the tissue within the center of your tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. If bacteria gets inside the tooth and reaches the pulp, the pulp will become inflamed and infected. This can happen as a result of dental problems like large cavities or trauma like cracked or broken teeth.
The inflammation of the pulp stimulates the clastic cells, the cells that are responsible for tissue resorption. These cells then break down the pulp chamber and the dentin, the layer of tooth that surrounds the pulp.
While inflammation is a major contributory factor, it doesn't explain every case of internal root resorption. Sometimes, this condition happens for no apparent reason. Researchers will need to perform more studies to identify these currently unknown causes.
Can it cause tooth loss?
Root resorption is a threat to your teeth as it weakens the supporting structures of your teeth. If too much root tissue is absorbed into your body, your teeth won't have the stability that they need. This can make them lose and can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Can it be treated?
Root canal treatment is the preferred treatment option for dentists as it is relatively non-invasive. This treatment is very routine and is nothing to worry about. First, your dentist will numb the area. Next, a small hole will be drilled in your tooth to make the pulp accessible.
Your dentist will remove the pulp with special tools and then wash out the pulp chambers to get rid of bacteria. The chambers will then be filled with an artificial material and your tooth will be sealed. This process works by cutting of the blood supply to the clastic cells which stops the resorption process.
In cases treating the resorption with root canal therapy isn't possible, surgery is required. During this procedure, your dentist will make an incision in your gum tissue to access the affected tooth roots. The dentist will then clean out the dentin cavity with the aid of a microscope. The cavity will then be filled and the end of the tooth root will be sealed. This surgery is done under local anesthesia, but if you're very nervous about dental procedures, ask your dentist if you can be sedated, instead.
How common is internal root resorption?
The prevalence of internal root resorption isn't well known and different studies have reported vastly different rates. Studies have reported prevalence rates as low as 0.01% and as high as 55%, depending on the level of pulpal inflammation that was present, so clearly more studies need to be done to identify an accurate prevalence rate among the general population.
If you are concerned about internal root resorption, see a website such as http://www.jpdentalgroup.com.