Stop! Are you using whitening bleach on your teeth regularly? You might want to reconsider which products you use after reading this article. Tooth resorption can be caused by many things, some of which you’re in control of. So, let’s help you make the best long-term decisions.


What Is Tooth Resorption?

Tooth resorption is the loss of tooth structure. This can take place when the body removes tissue containing minerals. Tooth structure can be partially broken down or in some cases, the whole tooth might resorb.

Is Internal and External Resorption the Same?

Do you know your teeth are made of multiple layers? We’re going to discuss the external & internal layer for now.

Let’s look at the two types of tooth resorption relating to these layers.

Internal Resorption

This is the absorption of the dentine into the tooth’s canal. The outcome is an inflamed tooth. The tooth will be brittle or hollow as the structure changes into inflamed cells.

How to Tell If It’s Internal Resorption

The first sign of internal resorption is a discoloration of the tooth. The tooth will begin to develop a slight pink shade. The reason for the change in color is the inflammation of the inner tissue. The tooth will be sensitive & painful. Have you ever experienced a stabbing pain when eating ice cream? This is the type of sensitivity we’re talking about.

Causes of Internal Resorption

The breakdown of internal tooth structure can be a result of many different treatments or effects:

  • Trauma: Injury to the tooth such as a hard knock.
  • Bacteria/decay: If bacteria is left on the tooth structure it can penetrate into the pulp causing inflammation.
  • Application of certain chemicals: Extreme heat or exposure to certain chemicals such as specific bleach products, can cause the breakdown of tooth structure.

External Resorption

External resorption can affect the gum & outer layer or cementum of the tooth. This will cause a brittle, inflamed tooth.

How to Tell If It’s External Resorption

It can be difficult to distinguish between the two types of tooth breakdown as they might have similar symptoms.

External resorption might also show slight tooth discoloration but will not be as noticeable as internal resorption. The tooth & gum area will be inflamed and painful. Your tooth might be heat and cold sensitive.

Causes of External Resorption

So how does this happen?

  • Gum disease: Bacterial infection in the gum area can cause inflammation & eventually external resorption.
  • Braces: A change in the structure of the teeth can cause gums & teeth to get inflamed so even having braces can lead to this.
  • Chemicals: Chemicals applied to the tooth & gum area can cause resorption of the tooth’s outer layer.

Either type of resorption can result in further problems such as:

  • Loss of bone around the tooth.
  • Loss of tooth structure.
  • Severe infection.
  • Incorrect alignment of the jawline.

Treatments for Resorption

Is there any good news? Yes. Resorption can be treated if diagnosed early enough and can include:

The bad news is if the tooth isn’t treated soon enough your dentist will have no other option than to extract it.

Can Тоотх Resorption Be Prevented?

There is more good news coming your way. You can prevent tooth resorption in a few different ways:

  • Sport & teeth: Wear mouth guards to protect your teeth from injury when playing sports.
  • Bite plate: Prevent erosion & inflammation if you’re a grinder by wearing a bite plate.
  • Hygiene: Don’t underestimate the benefits of following a good oral hygiene routine daily. Include floss & the correct brushing techniques.
  • Love your dentist: Despite the daunting thought of getting oral examinations to make an effort to go for yearly check-ups and visit your oral hygienist to remove any plaque build-up.

Final Thoughts

The old saying prevention is better than cure can’t be any truer when it comes to your teeth. Do you want to avoid serious dental conditions? Your regular check-ups aren’t an option anymore. It’s a necessity.

Author: Peter Mayhew

Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.