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What Causes Exposed Tooth Roots and How to Prevent It

by | May 15, 2020 | Common Conditions, Blog, Gum Health

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The roots of our teeth anchor them in the gums and jawbone. Like the tooth, the roots have nerves. If you have an exposed tooth root, it can cause sensitivity. Left untreated, it can lead to serious dental health problems. The good news is that if you have associated pain, especially while brushing your teeth or eating cold or hot foods, Smile Glen Ellyn can help relieve your pain.

What causes exposed tooth roots?

There are many reasons that might contribute to a tooth root showing through gum tissue. Most of the time, one of the types of gingivitis, or gum disease is the primary culprit. At Smile Glen Ellyn, we want to get to the cause of an exposed tooth root. This helps develop a plan for treatment and take preventative measures. The causes of exposed tooth roots and nerves include:

Gum disease. When you have gum disease, your gums can become swollen and weak. This also makes you susceptible to loss of gum tissue which means they recede and leave roots exposed.

Harsh brushing. When you brush your teeth, if you apply too much pressure, it can strip the enamel and cause gums to become inflamed. This can lead to root exposure.

Trauma. Any kind of trauma to the teeth, even teeth grinding, can weaken the protective outer layers and leaves nerves and roots exposed.

Orthodontic work. Braces can make it harder to brush your teeth properly. When you do not stick to a regular oral care regimen, the enamel can weaken and leave inner layers vulnerable. If you are being treated by Glen Orthodontics, discuss oral care with your dental care provider.

Misaligned teeth. Teeth out of alignment can cause gaps along the gum line. This allows a buildup of plaque bacteria and can leave gums vulnerable to disease.

Tobacco use. Smoking damages your teeth and can increase your risk of exposed tooth roots. Tobacco use puts you at risk for decay and tartar buildup which are the leading culprits of gum disease.

Symptoms of an Exposed Tooth Root

If you are worried about having an exposed tooth root, there are plenty of symptoms to let you know there is a problem. One of the most common symptoms is tooth sensitivity. If you notice severe pain when you are eating or drinking sweets, acidic foods, or hot and cold beverages you may have a tooth root showing through gum tissue. When roots are exposed, gums may bleed, swell, or become tender. The affected tooth may become discolored. The nerve might become infected and be swelling and pain.

Are there any effective treatment options?

Your dentist in Glen Ellyn, IL may recommend you brush with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth to curb the pain. Also using a soft-bristled toothbrush can be helpful. Avoiding the use of tobacco can help reduce sensitivity associated with an exposed tooth root. Also, talk to Dr. Gibbs about treating types of gingivitis and gum disease. A dental surgeon may be able to cover the exposed area with a gum graft. Sometimes the exposed areas can be covered with dentin or white sealers. Nightguards can provide protection from a trauma that often occurs during nighttime tooth grinding.

Contact Dr. Gibbs, Dentist

If you suspect you have an exposed tooth root, make an appointment with Smile Glen Ellyn. Dr. Gibbs and his staff can discuss appropriate treatment options and preventative measures you can take. Call us today with your questions and concerns. Or, schedule an appointment for an exam today.

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