Root resorption is process, when the tissues surrounding a tooth breakdown the root and replace it with soft tissue. There are several reasons why the resorption can happen:
- Injury to a tooth, which can be due to trauma, the healing process around the tooth cuts into it.
- Inflammation in the pulp, leading to “internal resorption”.
- Gum disease, the inflammation cells mistake the tooth for a foreign object.
- Orthodontic treatment: The braces apply pressure to the tooth and bone and lead to loss of root length.
- Pressure from the eruption of an adjacent tooth, like canines and wisdom teeth or pressure from a tumor can lead to the resorption of adjacent teeth.
Since the resorption does not ache, it can go unnoticed for extended periods of time. But once found, usually when an x-ray is taken, it is important to establish it’s cause. Once the cause is identified, it is possible to remove the reason for the resorption and stop the destructive process. Left untreated the resorption can lead to the need to have the tooth removed.