Dental Tips Blog


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


Exposed Tooth Roots Pose an Increased Risk of Developing Decay

Posted in Gum Disease

Do you have gum recession, periodontal disease, or damage that causes your root surfaces to be exposed? If you do, it’s important for you to know that this area of your tooth is much weaker and susceptible to developing cavities than your strong tooth enamel. In fact, this part of the tooth is made of dentin, which is almost 70% weaker than enamel.

What does that mean for you? It means that additional care is needed to prevent your teeth from developing root cavities. Once root cavities begin to form, they can progress very quickly, complicating the health of your entire tooth. Taking the right steps can help prevent root cavities from forming, as well as other side effects like sensitivity.

Topical fluoride varnish is a simple, effective treatment that blocks the pores of dentin for up to 3 months. That means there’s no sensitivity and less likelihood to develop cavities. Varnish isn’t the same as other types of fluoride; it’s an even stronger paste that adheres directly to your tooth and is applied by your dentist or hygienist.

Gum grafting may be recommended if your recession is very severe. This uses a piece of donor tissue from you or other source to recover the existing exposed area. It’s applied just like a small blanket draped over the root of your tooth, which then adheres to the dentin and surrounding gum tissue.

Tooth colored bonding can help cover mild to moderate areas of exposed roots, and is similar to having a small filling placed. The composite material is matched to your enamel and shaped over the area of exposed root, bonding to your tooth structure the same way other types of tooth colored fillings are.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics


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