Did you know that your tooth roots can be exposed? It is a condition when the soft fleshy part of your tooth is lost or worn away, leaving the hard bone part (the root) exposed. This makes it very easy for bacteria to cause infection.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of losing tooth roots. The risk of exposure increases if you smoke, grind your teeth, or have receding gums from gum disease or recession. Other common causes include an overbite and crooked teeth.
Read on to learn more about tooth roots and how to prevent tooth roots from being exposed.
Teeth Roots Exposed: What’s Going On?
Your tooth roots are the part of the tooth that sits in the bone within your jaw. As your teeth grow, the roots grow into the bone and anchor the teeth in place. The roots are covered with a layer of soft tissue called the periodontal ligament (PDL).
If the PDL becomes inflamed, bacteria can enter the root and cause an infection, which leads to an exposed tooth root due to the gums pulling away from the teeth. Root exposure is more likely if you smoke, if your gums are receding, if you grind your teeth, or if you have an overbite.
Recognizing When A Root Is Exposed
An open sore or gum pocket near the tooth signifies an exposed tooth root. You may also feel pain or sensitivity near the root. Your gums and tooth may also be susceptible to hot and cold foods, and they may feel tender to the touch. If you notice any of these symptoms, please call Addison Family Dentistry’s office for an appointment as soon as possible.
If you cannot reach a dentist right away, you can apply a cold compress to the area to help reduce pain and swelling. You can also gently clean the area with hydrogen peroxide and a sterile gauze pad. Be sure to rinse the area well and pat it dry before applying the compress to minimize any risk of infection.
Typical Symptoms Of An Exposed Tooth Root
A tooth root that is exposed may appear dark or discolored. It may also feel rough or gritty when you run your tongue or finger along it. When you brush your teeth, the teeth may be more sensitive than usual.
The surrounding area may also become red and swollen. If any of these symptoms occur, you should call our office for an appointment as soon as possible.
Be On The Look Out For These Causes (and How to Avoid Them)!
One way to prevent an exposed tooth root is to always be on the lookout for risk factors such as smoking, grinding your teeth, and having receding gums. It’s best to quit smoking as soon as possible to help avoid developing an infection in the mouth that can affect your body’s overall health.
To prevent receding gums, gently brush your teeth using the soft brushing technique, floss daily, and use mouthwash if desired. If you have an overbite, you may need orthodontic treatment to bring your teeth back into proper alignment.
You can also wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth if you have a habit of grinding them at night.
Options For Fixing Your Exposed Tooth Root
If you notice an exposed root, getting treatment as soon as possible is essential. In most cases, the exposed tooth root will be treated by your dentist accordingly. The dentist may fill the exposed root with dental filling material, use a root-filled (endodontic) treatment, or surgically remove the root.
The best approach will depend on the extent of the damage, the root’s location, and the root’s relationship to nearby healthy teeth. Often, an exposed tooth root can be treated with a root canal.
In this procedure, the dentist cleans the infection, fills the tooth with a healing material, and seals the tooth to prevent further infection.
Suggestions For An Exposed Root Treatment
You should always call your dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms of an exposed root. If a root has been exposed, your dentist should first clean out the infection with antibiotics. Once the infection is gone, the dentist will usually fill the tooth root with a dental filling material. Or your trusted dentist may do necessary procedures depending on the tooth root damage.
When Roots Are Exposed Too Far For An Easy Fix
Your dentist will probably suggest removing the tooth if the root is too far gone for a simple filling. In this extraction procedure, your dentist removes the infected tooth, cleans the socket, and gives you antibiotics.
Once the socket is clean and healed, you can have an implant put in the socket to replace the tooth. An implant is a metal screw that is put into the jawbone. Once the implant is in place, you can have a false tooth permanently attached to the metal socket implanted into your jawbone.
An Exposed Tooth Root Gets You To The Dentist; Now It’s Your Turn To Keep Your Teeth Healthy
If your dentist notices that your tooth root is exposed, keeping your mouth as clean as possible is the best way to prevent further damage. You can also take special care of your teeth if you have an overbite, such as closing your lips when you chew and wearing a night guard if you grind your teeth at night.
These measures can help protect the exposed tooth roots from getting worse so that you can avoid extraction. Also, practising proper oral hygiene will make a massive difference to the health of your gums and teeth.
Keeping Your Teeth And Gums Healthy
Treating gum issues early means preventing them from leading to severe health conditions. From regular cleaning with the right brush to tooth root planing, many treatments can help your oral health.
If you notice that your gums are inflamed or that your teeth are sensitive to cold, don’t wait before it gets worse, call us immediately for an appointment. Our dentist and staff will help you determine if you need a mouth guard for teeth grinding or how to take care of the gum disease that’s causing your exposed teeth roots.
We’re Here To Treat Your Dental Problems
Preventive care is the best way to avoid the need to treat your teeth with more invasive techniques. Professional cleanings, exams, and x-rays let us monitor your oral health. Together, we’ll be able to avoid tooth decay and receding gums leading to exposed tooth roots. We can also help fix your misaligned teeth and seal cavities.
Whether you need a cleaning or to get rid of an exposed tooth root, we’ve covered your dentistry needs.
Call Addison Family Dentistry today!