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What is Toth Resorption?


Tooth resorption is not as complex as it sounds. It is a dental term that is used to explain a condition in which your body system rejects its tooth as a self-defence mechanism. This typically happens when there is a traumatic injury that your tooth is subjected to.

Curious to know more about tooth resorption and what it entails? In this blog, we will give you a quick run-through of what tooth resorption is, its causes, its symptoms and how you can treat it effectively.

What is tooth resorption?

Tooth resorption is a type of dental injury that often starts from the outside of the tooth and gradually spreads to the inside. It typically affects your:

  1. interior pulp
  2. dentin(the layer immediately under your enamel)
  3. cementum(the layer covering the root of your tooth)
  4. root

There are two main types of tooth resorption - internal resorption and external resorption.

Internal resorption

It is the less common resorption out of the two and as the name suggests, internal resorption affects the inside of your tooth. If you suffer from a case of internal resorption, on an X-ray, your dentist will find dark spots in the regions where the internal tissue is missing.

External resorption

It is more common and it affects the outside of your tooth. Usually, external resorption is caused because of a trauma or injury to the tooth, braces or infection in your gums. External resorption might look like deep holes, chips or cavity-like areas on the outside of your tooth.

Causes of tooth resorption

Different scenarios can lead to someone suffering from tooth resorption. Here are some of the most common causes of external resorption that you must know.

  • Injuries to teeth or mouth
  • Loss of bone or tissue around your mouth
  • Injuries caused due to chronic teeth grinding
  • Injuries caused by prolonged use of braces

On the other hand, internal resorption can be caused by an untreated cavity, swelling in the inside of your teeth or physical trauma or injury to a tooth.

Symptoms of tooth resorption

Wondering if any telltales can warn you about tooth resorption that is on its way? Though tooth resorption symptoms start showing much later, here are some common symptoms that you must pay heed to.

  • Swelling of gums
  • Redness of gums
  • Pain in the root, crown or the inside pulp of a tooth
  • Cavity-like holes on the outside of a tooth
  • Abnormally brittle teeth

How is tooth resorption treated?

The choice of treatment when it comes to tooth resorption depends on which part of your tooth is affected and the extent of the damage that is being caused. The primary goal of your orthodontist or dentist will be to remove the parts which have suffered irreversible damage and to save as much of your tooth as possible.

Some common tooth resorption treatments that your orthodontist or dentist might recommend are:

Your dentist or orthodontist might also suggest you opt for dental implants or veneers to restore the natural aesthetics of your teeth.


The takeaway is that if you suspect that you might be suffering from tooth resorption, then you must seek professional help immediately before it worsens with time and leads to severe dental complications like tooth decay, cavity, crooked teeth, tooth loss, gum damage, etc.

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Can tooth resorption heal on its own?

No, tooth resorption doesn’t heal on its own and requires professional intervention. It is important to see your dentist immediately before it becomes worse.

Is tooth resorption painful?

Yes, tooth resorption can be quite painful if it is accompanied by pulp inflammation and tender gums.

How is internal tooth resorption diagnosed?

It is oftentimes detected during routine dental checkups. Your dentist will be able to detect a case of internal tooth resorption with the help of an X-ray.

Is tooth resorption preventable?

Yes, early detection and treatment can prevent tooth resorption and save your teeth. Hence, it is recommended that you go for routine dental check-ups and maintain a good daily oral care routine which will prevent tooth resorption.

blog / oral care / What is Toth Resorption?

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