Can Dental Braces Trigger Tooth Resorption?

Tooth resorption can be a perfectly natural process — at some stages of life, anyway. Resorption occurs when someone's baby teeth make way for their adult teeth. The root structure anchoring each tooth is absorbed back into your body, allowing the teeth to loosen and detach, clearing a path for your permanent teeth. So how can dental braces (firmly attached to adult teeth) sometimes cause tooth resorption? And just as crucially, how can it be treated?

A Small Amount of Tooth Resorption

Dental braces work by applying gentle, consistent force to each tooth, courtesy of the overall brace system. The process is gradual, but a small amount of bone is dissolved as each tooth repositions itself in response to the force exerted by the braces. It's unavoidable that this process affects the roots of your teeth, and a small amount of tooth resorption can occur when someone requires braces. For most people, the margin of loss is barely apparent, and won't compromise their teeth in any way. However, other patients can experience a greater degree of tooth resorption. 

A Genetic Susceptibility

Some people have a genetic susceptibility to shorter teeth roots. This isn't a significant drawback in most aspects of life, and it might only become evident when you need orthodontic treatment. You're not likely to be aware of any potential limitations to your tooth roots until you begin your orthodontic treatment. If your parents, aunts, uncles, or any older siblings needed braces and then experienced issues related to tooth resorption, this might be your only clue that you too might experience similar issues. But how can these issues be overcome?

Regular Monitoring

Your orthodontist will need to take regular x-rays during your treatment period. This gives them a clear indication of any problems related to your tooth resorption. Some resorption is perfectly acceptable (and to be expected), but regular monitoring allows your orthodontist to be sure that any resorption won't end up destabilizing your teeth. In some cases, it might be suggested that your treatment ends early, but this is only in rare circumstances. For most people, any issues with resorption will be addressed once their treatment has concluded.

Treatment for Resorption

If it's decided that your teeth need additional treatment to reverse any tooth resorption that occurred during your treatment (and this isn't necessarily going to be the case), your dentist may need to perform a root canal on certain teeth or to apply a dental crown. 

Tooth resorption during orthodontic treatment isn't anything to be concerned about, and if it should affect you, it's a problem that can be overcome.

For more information about braces, contact a clinic like Poulson Orthodontics