Tooth sensitivity can occur for any number of reasons, including enamel erosion, bruxism, and exposed tooth roots. In this blog post, Dr.Nazli Sheibani discusses how exposed tooth roots can cause tooth sensitivity, as well as the causes and consequences of exposed tooth roots.
Why Do Exposed Roots Result in Tooth Sensitivity?
The crown of a tooth is protected by enamel, the clear, outer layer that protects it from sensitivity to temperature changes and pressure. The root surface of a tooth does not have enamel. Instead, the root surface is protected by gum tissue. If the gums recede, exposing the sensitive roots, patients may experience discomfort when the tooth roots come into contact with hot and cold foods or pressure from dental tools.
Causes of Exposed Roots
The gums may recede and expose your tooth roots for a number of reasons, including:
Gum disease: Gum disease is a bacterial infection that slowly damages gum tissue, causing it to recede and loosen its hold on the teeth.
Bruxism: The force that is applied to the teeth when clenching or grinding can wear down the gum line.
Aggressive brushing: Apply light pressure when brushing the teeth. Too much pressure can slowly erode the gum line.
Malocclusion: Malocculsion can result in excess pressure in certain areas of the mouth, causing gum wear.
Dangers of Exposed Roots
Exposed tooth roots do not just cause tooth sensitivity. Since the roots don’t have the protective enamel layer, this makes it easier for bacterial acids to wear away the dentin layer of the tooth, which can potentially cause root cavities.
Treatment for Exposed Roots
During your dental exam and cleaning, we will ask if you have been experiencing any dental discomfort and check the gum line to look for problems such as gum recession and exposed roots. If you have an exposed tooth root, we may monitor the tooth and advise you on how to avoid further gum recession. we can also advise you on the most suitable oral care routine for sensitive teeth, and the best tooth brushing technique. You can also relief the painful symptoms of tooth sensitivity by changing your regular toothpaste to a desensitizing toothpaste. If desensitizing toothpaste doesnt ease your discomfort, a flouride gel or special desensitizing agents may be applied to the senistive areas of the affected teeth. If the exposed root causes significant sensitivity, we may recommend the following treatments:
Gum grafts: If gum tissue has been lost from the root (gum recession), we may recommand a surgical gum graft to cover the root, protect the tooth and reduce the sensitivity.
Composite fillings: Composite resin filling can be used to cover your tooth roots and protect the tooth.
If you experience tooth sensitivity due to an exposed tooth root, please let us know during your next dental visit. When cleaning any affected teeth, we will use gentle techniques so you don’t experience discomfort during your exam.