Dental Tips Blog

Dec
29

Managing Exposed Root Surfaces

Posted in Bonding

Things like grinding, aggressive brushing, or even tobacco use can cause gum recession and root exposure. Here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your dentist about managing your situation:

Addressing sensitivity

Exposed roots can create moderate to severe sensitivity problems, due to the nerve endings located in this part of the tooth. A desensitizing agent such as a fluoride varnish can be applied by your dentist for relief that will last up to 3 months. 

Bonding damaged enamel

Placing a composite restoration over the exposed root can restore aesthetics and prevent sensitivity. The material is matched to the shade of the tooth so that it looks as if your crown extends up to the gumline. Bonding is appropriate for mild to moderate recession. 

Preventing damage with a bite splint

Clenching and grinding of the teeth causes flexing of the tooth near the gumlines. Over time this leads to small amounts of enamel chipping away, exposing the roots. Gum recession is also a side effect. Your dentist can evaluate your bite and determine whether or not this is the cause of your condition. If it is, you’ll want to invest in a bite splint. Splints prevent excess wear from happening and also reduce muscle fatigue associated with TMJ disorders. 

Considering grafting

Severe root exposure can jeopardize the stability of the teeth. Gingival grafting can cover these areas again, providing security as well as protection for the exposed roots. An oral surgeon typically performs the grafting procedure. 

Adjusting oral hygiene methods

Over-zealous toothbrushing can cause gums to recede as well as abrasion of the enamel. That’s right – even a toothbrush can abrade enamel away! Always use a soft toothbrush with only a slight amount of pressure – never enough to cause the bristles to splay out.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

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