What You Need To Know About Root Resorption

Root resorption is a serious dental problem that can result in the structure of your tooth being eaten away. The primary teeth naturally wear off so as to give room for the adult teeth to erupt, but this shouldn't happen to adult teeth. Patients who suffer from this condition are at risk of premature tooth loss that can affect their smile and ability to chew and swallow. This article looks at how root resorption happens, who is at risk, and what can be done to prevent or correct the condition. 

How does it happen?

Root resorption is typically an inflammatory process that leads to the degradation of the structure of your teeth. Your body essentially begins to absorb cementum, which is the outer layer of your tooth's roots. As it progresses, the condition affects your inner tooth called dentin and eventually reaches the ligaments that hold your teeth in place. This can result in your teeth becoming wobbly and cause eventual tooth loss. An X-ray can usually detect root resorption in its early stages as a dark spot.

There are a number of factors that could increase your risk for root resorption. Trauma to the tooth ligaments, either due to an accident or tooth decay, could cause layers of your teeth to start wearing off. Teeth grinding can also affect the ligaments of your teeth due to excessive biting force, resulting in inflammation and tooth damage. Cavities, especially at an early age, could also lead to root resorption.

What can be done?

It is crucial that root resorption is caught early on before it progresses if it is to be treated successfully. Dentists can recommend the use of a mouth guard to protect the teeth from teeth grinding, helping to prevent excessive damage to the ligaments. If your root resorption hasn't reached the inner tooth, your dentist may use filing material to repair the damage.

For extensive root resorption that has reached the inner tooth, root canal therapy may be required to remove the affected pulp and repair the root structure with a crown. In advanced cases where the tooth roots are adversely damaged, tooth extraction could be the only option, in which case you can talk to your dentist about tooth replacement options such as dental implants or bridges. 

Root resorption in your adult teeth can be alarming, but corrective measures can be taken if the condition is caught early. Be sure to schedule regular dental visits so that your teeth can be checked for any signs the condition, especially after serious trauma to the teeth or tooth decay.