What happens if a tooth root is left in the gum?

A tooth may have single or multiple roots depending on the type and location of the teeth. Usually, Incisors and canines have single roots whereas premolars (except lower premolars) and molars have multiple roots. when a dentist tries to remove a tooth, the tooth will come out completely along with its roots. In some cases, roots may Crack or retain in the bone. Let’s discuss what happens if a tooth root is left in the gum or bone?

What happens if a tooth root is left in the gum
Broken Teeth

Why are tooth fragment left in the gums or inside the bone?

  • It should be noted that tooth fracture or trauma leads to breakage of the tooth below the gum line.
  • Weekend tooth structure fractured during extraction.
  • Extraction of a tooth with curved roots
  • Extraction of an ankylosed  tooth as well as multi-rooted tooth
  • Partially erupted tooth

Risk factors associated with a retained  root removal

It is difficult to remove the retained teeth If it is close to the nerve Canal or if it is in close proximity with the maxillary sinus or If it is in the line of fracture of the bone. In this case, it is often ideal to take the help of a maxillofacial surgeon to remove the retained roots without a doubt.

Also Read : Root canal or Extraction

What happens if a tooth root is left in the gum (Fragment of Teeth) after extraction?

If you leave a broken tooth untreated, it can lead to the following

  • pain
  • infection
  • swelling
  • Difficulty in eating
  • Tongue irritation

Can tooth be left in gum after extraction ?

If the root fragment is less than 3 millimeters, undoubtedly it can be left in the bone as the root pieces get resorbed after sometimes.

How are retained roots removed?

Firstly X-ray of the root is a must in order to locate the correct position of the root. After sedation, the next step is placing incision on the gums. If it is not possible to remove the roots with hand instruments, a surgeon may perform bone shaving or guttering with rotary instruments. In addition to this thorough irrigation is a must after removing the tooth root. Stitching or suturing will close the wound.

What you can expect after retained root removal?

  • Soreness in the area of extraction
  • mild swelling that lasts for 7 to 10 days.

Broken tooth root removal: aftercare

  • The patient should take painkillers and antibiotics after the procedure.
  • It is advisable to take only cold food items on the day of the extraction.
  • Avoid spicy food items
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene
  • Salt Water rinse the day after the extraction
  • Eat a soft diet
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Do not use a straw to drink the juice.
  • Follow up is must

The Bottom Line

There is clearly no need of worrying even though the tooth root remains in the gums. A skilled oral surgeon can definitely remove it easily without complications. Moreover, follow the instruction given by the respective doctor for better healing.

1 thought on “What happens if a tooth root is left in the gum?”

  1. What is the mechanism by which the human-body rejects a tooth fragment left in the gum?
    E.G. The human-body will reject a foreign-body (like a thorn) by using a degree of local inflamation ( infection) to create pressure (swelling) to loosen the thorn and the resultant fluid (pus) lubricates the thorn’s passage out of the human-body.


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