Patients who come to our practice know that they are in good hands. We are one of the leading general dentistry practices serving Corpus Christi, offering state-of-the-art dental care that makes patients smile with improved health and renewed confidence.
When a patient comes to our practice complaining of toothaches or tooth sensitivity, the issue is sometimes caused by an issue with the gums and exposed tooth roots. With that in mind, let's consider why patients with exposed tooth roots may experience acute sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
Understanding the Tooth Roots
To understand the issue with tooth roots and tooth sensitivity, let's first consider the general anatomy of a tooth.
There are two distinct parts of a tooth that we want to consider. Above the gumline, there is a part of the tooth known as the crown. The crown is there for biting, chewing, and so forth. Beneath the gumline resides the tooth root, which is anchored into the jawbone and the gum tissue.
Issues with dental health and wellness often occur when the tooth roots become exposed. When the tooth roots are exposed, this can affect the aesthetics of your smile and also result in tooth sensitivity and potential tooth decay below the gumline.
Why Tooth Roots May Become Exposed
Tooth roots often become exposed as a result of gum recession. This refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline, giving way and revealing more of the root structure in the process. When this happens, the gum tissue will not grow back. Patients will notice issues with pain and soreness whenever they eat or drink things that are hot or cold in temperature.
Causes of Gum Recession
Some of the most common causes of gum recession include the following:
Brushing or Flossing Too Vigorously – When you brush or floss in an aggressive manner, this can actually cause trauma to the gum tissue, resulting in recession and exposure of the tooth roots.
Gum Disease – Gum disease is the bacterial infection of the gum tissue, with the inflammation occurring as a result of the oral bacteria that is naturally found in the mouth.
Smoking and Tobacco Products – Tobacco products make infections more likely, which means a greater likelihood of gum recession and gum disease. It's yet another reason to quit.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) – The stress caused by friction as teeth gnash and clench can do damage to the teeth and even lead to the loss of gum tissue over time.
Poor Dental Alignment – Poor dental alignment places extra stress on the teeth, making gum recession more likely and even contributing to cases of teeth grinding.
Treatments to Address Exposed Tooth Roots
When it comes to treating issues with exposed tooth roots, patients have a number of treatment options to consider. The most important of these treatment options is gum grafting. This form of soft tissue augmentation can rebuild gum tissue when the gumline has been reduced, suturing new tissue along the gumline. Artificial soft tissue grafts can be used, as can donor tissue taken from a patient's own soft palate.
The results of gum augmentation can be quite dramatic, protecting once-exposed tooth roots, eliminating tooth sensitivity, and improving overall dental health in the process.
Contact Our Team of Dental Care Experts Today
To learn more about treating gum recession and other serious dental health problems, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Our dentists will work with you to restore the health and beauty of your smile.