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Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity and Exposed Tooth Roots

Dr. Degel Aug 5, 2016

An illustration of gingival graftingTooth sensitivity is a common symptom of exposed tooth roots. Tooth sensitivity may be an indication of enamel erosion, decay, or exposed tooth roots, all of which require professional attention. General dentistry services can prevent dental and periodontal problems, reducing tooth sensitivity and dental damage. To learn more about your treatment options for tooth sensitivity and exposed tooth roots, schedule a consultation with Queens, NY dentists Clifford Degel and Carmen Every-Degel.

What Causes Exposed Roots?

Exposed tooth roots are most commonly caused by gum recession or periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Gum recession is a slow process in which the gums wear down, eventually exposing the roots of the teeth. Tooth sensitivity often increases as the gums recede, and this discomfort may become severe once the roots are exposed. If left untreated, gum recession can lead to more serious problems, including root cavities and even tooth loss. Exposed tooth roots may also be caused by aggressively brushing the teeth or trauma to the gums.

Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity Caused by Exposed Roots

Tooth sensitivity caused by exposed roots often requires treatment to restore lost gum tissue. Gum grafting, also called gingival grafting, can restore gum tissue and treat exposed roots. There are different types of gum grafting methods. The type used depends on the patient’s needs and extent of damage. These procedures include:

  • Free gingival graft: The free gingival graft procedure requires a small amount of tissue from the roof of the mouth. This tissue is removed, placed over the exposed root, and stitched in place.
  • Connective-tissue graft: The connective-tissue graft procedure begins with the creation of a flap through the tissue of the roof of the mouth. The flap is then opened and a portion of connective tissue is removed and stitched in place over the exposed root. After sufficient tissue has been harvested, the flap is stitched closed and treatment is completed.
  • Pedicle graft: A pedicle graft takes tissue from the gums, near the area of treatment. A flap, or pedicle, is partially cut from the gum, pulled over the exposed root, and stitched in place.

Preventing Exposed Roots and Tooth Sensitivity

Preventing exposed roots can help prevent tooth sensitivity and avoid the need for gum surgery. Practicing good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease, the biggest cause of exposed roots. Brush at least twice a day for a full two minutes and floss everyday to lower the risk of gum disease. Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash can also help eliminate bacteria within the mouth, another cause of gum disease. Other steps you can take to help prevent tooth sensitivity and gum recession include:

  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and light pressure
  • Brushing with a sensitive formula toothpaste
  • Avoiding acidic, sugary foods and drinks
  • See your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning

Seek Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity and Exposed Roots

To learn more about your treatment options for tooth sensitivity, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team at Astoria Dental Group.

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