Exposed Tooth Root: Causes and Symptoms

 In Yaletown Dental Blog

You experience pain when you brush your teeth, and your teeth are sensitive when you eat or drink anything that’s hot or cold, sweet or sour. What could be the problem? It’s just possible that the roots of your teeth have become exposed. But how can that happen? After all, tooth roots are supposed to fit snugly into your gums and jaw. We take a closer look at one of the reasons why your teeth are so sensitive.

Why are Exposed Tooth Roots So Sensitive?

The simplest way to explain tooth root sensitivity would be to say that tooth roots are usually covered by gums. Healthy teeth and gums give you ample protection against sensitivity. But when the gums recede, exposing the tooth roots, the delicate nerves inside your teeth react to heat, cold, or sweet foods with a nasty jolt of pain.

The parts of your teeth that are meant to be exposed are covered with super-strong tooth enamel. But once we move down to the areas that gums would ordinarily cover, we find a less powerful covering: cementum. It’s way more prone to decay than tooth enamel, and it wears away more easily too.

How Tooth Roots Become Exposed

Gums can recede for a variety of reasons. The most common reason for exposed tooth roots is gum disease. However, some people simply brush their teeth too hard. Other reasons for receding gums include tobacco use and grinding your teeth. Of course, sometime the teeth themselves are to blame. If they’re poorly aligned, one or ore teeth could end up with exposed roots.

Other Symptoms of Exposed Tooth Roots

Apart from sensitivity to stimuli and the pain it causes, you might notice that your teeth appear longer than before. Or you might notice gum disease symptoms: red, inflamed gums and a tendency for your gums to bleed especially after you’ve brushed your teeth. Gum disease can be very serious and apart from exposing tooth roots, it can cause teeth to be lost altogether. Ultimately, you could even lose bone tissue from your jaw.

Treatment Can Help You

Knowing that your tooth roots are exposed doesn’t help you, but treatment will. A dentist can zero in on the cause of exposed tooth roots. If, as in most cases, it’s the result of gum disease, treating the ailment can resolve the problem. If gum disease has progressed far, then your dentist may need to help you with a gum graft.

You can also help yourself to recover by using the correct brushing technique and a toothpaste that’s made for sensitive teeth, but that won’t clear up the problem on its own if you have gingivitis or periodontitis.

Quitting smoking is always good for your health and it could also help to resolve your issue, and if you are a tooth grinder, you may need to wear a protective mouthguard at night.

Resolving Discomfort and Saving Your Teeth Begins at the Dentist’s Office

Whether you have exposed tooth roots, have worn tooth enamel, or are experiencing discomfort owing to tooth decay, the first step towards relief begins at your dentist’s office. Don’t delay getting help for your problem. The sooner it’s addressed, the happier you (and your teeth) will be.

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