This blog is inspired by a good friend, recently diagnosed with internal resorption…who’s wife happens to be a hygienist!
Internal resorption is an unusual condition where the dentin and pulpal walls begin to resorb centrally within the root canal. Basically, your body’s own cells are eating away at the tooth structure. Patients suffering from internal resorption will be asymptomatic early on. Teeth with internal resorption typically respond normally to pulpal and periapical tests until the lesion grows significantly in size. The first evidence of the lesion may be the appearance of a pink-hued area around the crown of the tooth, this is the vascular pulp tissue filling in the resorbed areas. Once necrosis (death) of the pulpal tissue takes place, the typical signs/symptoms of an abscessing tooth occur. Some of these symptoms include; bitter taste, bad breath, fever, pain with chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, swelling of the gum or a pimple on the gum.
So now you’re wondering, “How do I catch internal resorption early”? To diagnosis internal resorption, an x-ray of the pulp chamber must be taken. An x-ray of a healthy tooth will have a defined outline of the pulp chamber, the absence of a defined line indicates resorption. Unfortunately for many patients afflicted by internal resorption, the cause is unknown and cannot be tied to a specific injury or traumatic incident. If internal resorption is caught early, the first step would be a root canal. Hopefully the root canal will remove all of the necrotic tissue, rendering a healthy tooth. If internal resorption is not caught early enough, the tooth will need to be extracted (removed). Luckily, internal resorption will not effect any of the surrounding teeth. Despite internal resorption being a relatively rare condition, it’s numbers are on the rise. If you have been diagnosed with internal resorption and would like to participate in a study to help determine a link between internal resorption patients, click HERE. If you need to make an appointment to discuss dental issues you have been experiencing, click HERE or call 952-938-7746.