Internal resorption

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Internal resorption is an unusual condition of a tooth when the dentin and pulpal walls begin to resorb centrally within the root canal. The first evidence of the lesion may be the appearance of a pink-hued area on the crown of the tooth; this condition is referred to pink tooth of Mummery, after the 19th century anatomist James Howard Mummery, and represents the hyperplastic, vascular pulp tissue filling-in the resorbed areas.

The cause can sometimes be attributed to trauma to the tooth, but other times there is no known etiology. If the condition is discovered prior to perforation of the crown or root has occurred, endodontic therapy, known as root canal thepary in lay terms, may be carried out with the expectation of a pretty high success rate.


  • Kahn, Michael A. Basic Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Volume 1. 2001.

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