In the following article, the phenomenon of resorption that takes place on the inside of the human tooth has been described. Associated medical terms, the development of the complication, cause and appropriate treatment of such a condition has been described in the following paragraphs. To know more, read on.
Internal resorption is a pathological process, that affects the tooth. Since this phenomenon is a progressing condition and once started, it tends to affect the entire tooth, it would be better to get to know the anatomy of the tooth first. There 4 distinct layered parts of the human tooth, namely, enamel, dentin, the pulp and the root canal.
Of course, there are several other external supporting features of the human dental anatomy, but let’s just concentrate on these 4 right now.
- The enamel is the outermost covering of the tooth that is visible to us. The outer surface of the enamel is, of course, used by us for chewing.
- Inside the enamel is the dentin, which takes up the maximum part of a human tooth. It is a porous tissue with hard features.
- The third part is the pulp of the tooth. It contains all the blood vessels, nerves and the nutrition channels of the tooth. It’s the most sensitive part of the tooth and it does the job of keeping the tooth well nourished and well-connected to the central nervous system.
- Last but not the least, the root (which is also a part of the root canal) of the tooth which keeps the tooth anchored into the gums and jaws.
In case of resorption, the dentin, pulp and root canal get affected.
How it Takes Place?
Now, the first thing we need to know about resorption that takes place inside our tooth is that this condition is asymptomatic. That is it does not show any symptoms till a certain measure or extent. Resorption as a pathological term is used to describe a process where, substances or structures of the human body undergo a certain lysis or assimilation. In this case, the resorption is of the dentin and to some extent of the pulp of the tooth.
In the event of trauma or infection, or under other circumstances, the dentin surrounding the pulpal (pulp) area, start resorption into the root canal. This causes the start of the resorption, which also starts causing lesions, that is damage to the tissues around the root canal, the pulpal and dentin components which continue to resorb into the canal. This process is basically a cave in of the dentin and pulp (in some cases also of enamel) into the root canal, from within. In some cases an injury to the tooth also damages the pulp where in the damaged nerves and cells harm the surrounding parts of the tooth which cause the resorption.
The causes are usually attributed to trauma and infection which are likely to cause this condition. Apart from that, natural and causeless resorption is also possible. The big problem is that being an asymptomatic condition, it is often rarely detected immediately. A common symptom is the occurrence of the ‘Pink tooth of Mummery’. This occurs due to the resorption of the pulp and some part of the dentin into the root canal and the root. Coloring takes place because of the hematologic (blood) staining of the remaining tooth takes place, which becomes visible through the enamel and gives the tooth a pinkish appearance.
Probable Causes and Implications
There are certain implications of the internal tooth resorption which have been listed as follows. Some of them might also be noticed and connoted to be some symptoms of the condition.
- Trauma of the enamel, gums or the dentin leads to inflammation of the pulp and some parts of the root and root canal.
- The process sometimes gets activated naturally when the pH-value in the tooth shifts. It is a very complicated process known as chelation (chemical reaction), which eventually results into the dissolution of the dentin and enamel.
- Uncontrolled and progressing resorption can also cause fracture of the tooth, leading to external resorption.
Treatment and Diagnosis
There are 4 ways in which this ailment can be detected, namely, visual examination, Rtg diagnosis, light and electron microscopy. Depending upon the progress and nature of the resorption, it is divided into intracoronal or intracanal. The best way to treat the condition is with the help of endodontic therapy, which is commonly referred to as the root canal therapy. In this procedure the part which has been subject to central resorption is cleaned treated, filled and then the pulp and root canal elements are allowed to regrow. In cases where the crown, enamel or dentin are perforated beyond measures, dentists may even extract the tooth.
One of the best ways to prevent resorption is to maintain good oral, hygiene and go for regular checkups. Your dentist or doctor will be able to quickly spot any resorption that takes place, as it can also be external.