As it sounds, resorption has to do with the breakdown and absorbing of bones into the body. Strange as it may seem, our bodies naturally do this to help remove any unnecessary bone tissue in certain areas of our body. When we are children, this is what breaks down the bone left behind by our baby teeth to make way for permanent adult teeth. The process also results in a transfer of calcium into the blood stream.
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Bone resorption can occur in multiple parts of the body, as the body is in a constant state of bone remodeling. This process basically means that the body breaks down weakened or damaged bone tissue by way of osteoclasts, which are essentially cells that break down this tissue. Once the aged bone tissue is removed, new bone tissue is formed and this process continues well into our adulthood.
This is not always the case when it comes to dental health and resorption of your jawbone. In dentistry, resorption typically refers to changes that occur in the root of your tooth that is not due exclusively to fracture, decay, or periodontitis.
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Root resorption can develop in two areas of the tooth, either internally or externally. External resorption, as the name suggests, begins on the exterior of the tooth, at the area “neck-like” area of your tooth where the root connects to your jawbone. Pink spots may develop around this area and if not treated, they can severely damage your tooth all the way to the root.
Internal resorption begins within your tooth and is not nearly as complicated or damaging as external root resorption, as long as it is properly treated in time. Internal resorption can develop due to chronic inflammation of the tooth’s nerve, known as the pulp, and is usually an asymptomatic ailment, so being on top of your dental care, including regular visits to your dentist is extremely important.
Internal resorption is definitely the more manageable of the two, though both can be effectively treated if caught early enough. When the breakdown of the bone begins to occur within the tooth, it is usually brought on by irritation or trauma. The most common way to treat this is with a root canal procedure or minor periodontal surgery. Essentially, your dentist will extract the damaging tissue and pulp, which should stop the resorption from developing further.
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External root resorption is typically a much more complicated procedure to treat, though it can be successfully treated as long as the damaged is not too extensive. Depending on the level of resorption and your unique dental needs, your dentist may recommend a number of treatments. These can range from periodontal surgery, root canal, extraction of the damaged tissue or area, or chemical treatment to the root surface and surrounding areas. If the external resorption is too advanced, however, the tooth may need to be removed. If that occurs, you can discuss the possibility of receiving a dental implant in place of the lost tooth with your dentist.
The best way to prevent yourself from developing infections and problems like root resorption within your mouth is by observing a dedicated dental routine.
Dr. Beaufils recommends that every patient floss and brush every day at least twice a day, use mouthwash, stay away from detrimental foods, and keep up with regular check-ups, cleanings, and x-rays. If you or a loved one is suffering from a toothache or infection such as root resorption, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We cater to a number of conditions, including 24/7 dental emergency care.