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Tooth Sensitivity Caused by Exposed Tooth Roots

By drparr on June 14, 2017


An illustration of gums being treatedAt The Smile Center, we have been dedicated to providing restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and general dentistry of the most surpassing quality since 1988. Among the most gratifying of the treatments we perform are those that restore function to the mouths of our patients. People who have sensitive teeth due to exposed tooth roots, for example, can find it difficult to eat their favorite foods, drink their favorite beverages, or even breathe through their mouths without discomfort. Fortunately, Dr. Scott Parr and Dr. Tina Frey offer a wide selection of dental treatments that can resolve tooth sensitivity, restoring the ability to bite, chew, and breathe without pain once again.

In determining the appropriate treatment plan for patients with tooth sensitivity and exposed tooth roots at their Virginia Beach, VA cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice, Drs. Parr and Frey proceed very methodically. They examine each patient to evaluate the extent of the damage done to the teeth and how far it has spread. They then carefully examine the gums, as periodontal disease is the most common cause of exposed tooth roots. Based on their examinations, they formulate a customized treatment plan likely to yield the best possible results with the most conservative combination of procedures.

If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity and would like to restore function to your mouth, we encourage you to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Parr or Dr. Frey at The Smile Center today.

Why Do Exposed Tooth Roots Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

One of the primary purposes of your gums is to provide protection for the roots of your teeth. Healthy gums perform this job admirably. However, when periodontal disease strikes, the gums can begin to degrade.

During the earlier stages of periodontal disease, gingivitis, symptoms are quite subtle and any damage done is generally reversible. People who visit the dentist regularly will usually have gingivitis diagnosed before it has the chance to do any real harm. If left untreated, however, gingivitis will develop into the more destructive form of periodontal disease, periodontitis. During this stage, the gums will eventually pull away from the teeth, creating pockets between the periodontal tissues and the tooth roots, leaving the latter exposed. Bacteria will take refuge in these pockets, giving them the chance to eat away at the layer of cementum that protects the roots beneath the gum line.

As the cementum erodes, the underlying layer of tooth called dentin is exposed. This layer has thousands of openings to microscopic tubules that lead to the root canals of the teeth, where the nerve-rich dental pulp is located. These open passageways to the nerves of the teeth are the reason that you will feel sensitivity when the tooth roots are exposed.

Depending on whether the dental pulp within the tooth is infected, it may be possible to treat the tooth with a simple crown and periodontal treatments to eradicate the effects of periodontitis. However, it may be necessary to perform root canal therapy to remove infected dental pulp.

Learn More about Tooth Sensitivity and Exposed Tooth Roots

To learn more about tooth sensitivity and exposed tooth roots, please contact The Smile Center today.

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