Definitions for root resorption

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  1. Root resorption

    In dentistry, root resorption is the breakdown or destruction, and subsequent loss, of the root structure of a tooth. This is caused by living body cells attacking part of the tooth. When the damage extends to the whole tooth, it is called tooth resorption. Severe root resorption is very difficult to treat and often requires the extraction of teeth. Root resorption occurs as a result of differentiation of macrophages into odontoclasts in surrounding tissue which, if in close proximity to the root surface will resorb the root surface cementum and underlying root dentine. This can vary in severity from evidence of microscopic pits in the root surface to complete devastation of the root surface. Deciduous root resorption is a natural process which allows exfoliation of the primary teeth to make way for the secondary teeth. Deciduous root resorption is caused by osteoclast differentiation due to pressure exerted by the erupting permanent tooth. Root resorption of secondary teeth can occur as a result of pressure on the root surface. This can be from trauma, ectopic teeth erupting in the path of the root, inflammation, excessive occlusal loading, aggressive tumours and growths. The most common cause in Western Society is orthodontic forces.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Root Resorption

    Resorption in which cementum or dentin is lost from the root of a tooth owing to cementoclastic or osteoclastic activity in conditions such as trauma of occlusion or neoplasms. (Dorland, 27th ed)

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