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Root resorption



Two words: Root Resorption! Osteoclasts skimming not only jaw bone, but tooth root!

I`ve been reading some research papers and sites, and listening to sources. Is root resorption truly something to fear?

Is it more likely in older patients?

How about genetics? Is there much genetic support for the cause of root resorption?

And are there ways of prevention like a good diet? Exercise? Chewing?

Could you also give me some links for more information? -Thanks!


The causes of root resorption are unknown. I have seen nothing in the literature that pin points the cause. At one time it was thought that orthodontics caused root resorption. Certainly if the forces used are excessive, it can possibly lead to some root change. Therefore during orthodontics lasting more than a year or year and a half, it is my recommendation that monitoring radiograph be taken.

It has been shown that patients who have not undergone orthodontics have shown evidence of root resorption as well. One concern is roots of teeth that are very thin and tapered or have a small apical curvature are more likely to have small root change. Every orthodontist discusses this possibility with their patients in the form of informed consent.

Yes, it is a risk, but almost always if there is any change it is in the form of 1-2 mms - that in no way effects the long term stability and the potential risk does not warrant not treating. The very malocclusion itself may tend to contribute to root resorption due to unbalanced forces while chewing. Most standard texts on orthodontics have bibliographies that include the subject and will lead you to further information.

For more information:

Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University