Tooth resorption is a rare condition to develop, and one that many people have never heard of. So if you've been taking good care of your oral hygiene only to find out that you have something called tooth resorption and should have a root canal as a result, you may be feeling confused and at a loss. Read this simple guide to discover what exactly resorption does to teeth and why it typically requires a root canal as treatment.
What Tooth Resorption Does
Tooth resorption is essentially a condition where the body's natural processes go haywire.
If you remember your childhood, chances are you recall losing baby teeth. Remember how those teeth never had roots at the bottom and only the top crown part would pop out? This is because your body performed a natural resorption. The interior pulp and roots of your teeth were gradually absorbed back into the body, loosening the tooth and allowing it to fall out to make way for an adult tooth.
In abnormal adult resorption, this process occurs again for no good reason. In some cases, it can be due to injury or disease, but some people can develop this condition for no apparent reason. In any case, it means that the roots of your teeth have either been fully or partially reabsorbed, and the pulp of your tooth is at risk.
Risks of Leaving It As-Is
When a tooth is supposed to fall out naturally, typically nothing needs to be done when resorption occurs. However, in an abnormal situation like yours, that's not the case.
Leaving a tooth that's experiencing tooth resorption can not only put you in pain, but it can open the door to severe infection. As the root of your tooth is gradually broken down, it opens access to the pulp of your tooth. The pulp can easily become infected if bacteria from your mouth gains access to it. From there, the pain will not only become worse, but the infection can put your health at risk. Without treatment, this kind of infection can not only kill the tooth but also put you at risk of developing sepsis.
Thankfully, while most people think that root canals sound terrible, they're a very easy process for most patients and are typically painless.
Your dentist will ensure that you don't feel a thing by numbing the area first with topical applications and then an injected solution, like Novocaine. Once you're fully numbed, the tooth will have its pulp and any other damaged or infected parts removed and will be refilled with a dental sealant. Then, the tooth will continue to function normally. That's it! Your tooth will survive off the blood supply of your gums, and you'll be able to keep your original tooth without any additional risk to your health.
Tooth resorption isn't something you should treat lightly. If your dentist has recommended a root canal, it's best to do it. Work with a specialist to get the best care for your tooth and to prevent further damage from being done to your teeth and overall health.