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Dentistry Utah

Exposed Tooth Roots Can Lead to Issues with Sensitivity

A tooth with a ring around itHere at South Ogden Smiles, we want to make sure that patients have healthy and beautiful smiles. This means focusing on the health on the teeth, gums, and other structures of the mouth. This is part of our comprehensive approach to restorative dentistry, looking at the part of the whole to improve wellness.

Many of our patients come to us with questions about tooth sensitivity and dental pain. In many cases, this is the result of exposed tooth roots. Let's consider why this is the case.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

To understand this issue, let's consider the basic anatomy of a tooth.

First, the portion of a tooth that is visible is known as the crown. The portion of the tooth that is located under the gumline is known as the root.

As for the tooth itself, the topmost layer of a tooth is comprised of a substance known as enamel, which is one of the hardest substances in the human body. Beneath the enamel is a layer of dentin, which is strong but porous. Inside of the tooth is a hollow chamber filled with dental pulp. This dental pulp is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that was essential for the formation of a tooth.

The Dangers of Gum Recession

When the gumline recedes, it exposes more of the root structure of a tooth. This can increase the likelihood of tooth decay below the gumline, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Gum recession can be caused by a whole host of thing, including advanced periodontal disease, smoking, injuries to the teeth, aggressive brushing and flossing, and even oral piercings.

Hot and Cold Temperatures Can Increase Sensitivity

With more of the root structure of a tooth exposed, patients will be more susceptible to sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This is because there is less enamel along the tooth roots. The hot and cold temperatures are closer to the porous dentin layer of the tooth and the hollow pulp chamber of a tooth where nerves and blood vessels are located.

Pressure/Chewing Can Lead to Sensitivity

In addition to hot and cold tooth sensitivity, pressure on the teeth while chewing can also lead to sensitivity. This can also be linked to gum recession and issues with exposed tooth roots. It may be more pronounced when there are problems with the overall structure of a tooth.

Treatments for Gum Recession

The best way to address these problems related to tooth sensitivity and exposed tooth roots is to undergo gum grafting surgery. This oral surgery is sometimes known as soft tissue augmentation. Gum grafting will attach artificial gum tissue or donor gum tissue to the receded portions of the gumline. In doing so, the tooth roots are covered and protected from harm.

The overall gum grafting procedure as well as recovery can be discussed in greater detail during the consultation process.

Contact South Ogden Smiles

For more information on treating tooth sensitivity and helping you smile with renewed confidence, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at South Ogden Smiles is here to help you achieve optimal dental health and wellness.

Tagged In: Tooth Sensitivity, Gum Recession

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Dr. Tanner's office and staff are the best!!! I’ve been going to him for over ten years and always have been treated with the best care. Even when I had an emergency, they got me right in. His work is exceptional, and pretty much pain free!!

-Suzi B.