If you have ever brushed your teeth and felt a sudden stab of pain as your brush moved across your tooth or experienced sensitivity to hot, cold, spicy, or sour foods, you may have a condition called gingival recession. This causes your teeth's roots to be exposed. There are many causes of root exposure, and there are a few ways you and your dentist can treat it.
Cause 1: Harsh Brushing and Flossing
Individuals who compulsively brush their teeth can experience gingival recession from brushing too frequently or too hard. Often the only cures for this are to either limit the number of times per day that you brush your teeth, change your toothbrush to one with softer bristles, or to change your brushing technique.
Likewise, aggressive flossing has the frequent effect of cutting gums, which has the potential to cause tissue loss.
Cause 2: Gum Disease
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a progressive affliction that starts with simple gingivitis or gum inflammation caused by bacteria that thrive in plaque and tartar buildup. Because plaque and tartar are easy to remove with proper brushing and flossing and regular professional cleaning, there is no excuse for gingival gum disease.
The gingivitis itself can be treated by that proper care, combined with a good mouthwash.
If the disease is not treated, gingivitis turns into periodontitis, where inflamed gums pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets that breed infections. Without proper care, the body's response to the infection can destroy the gum tissue and connections to the jaw bones, leaving teeth loose and vulnerable.
Cause 3: Lifestyle Choices
There are many ways that choices can have an impact on whether gums recede or not. Oral jewelry, such as piercings or "grills," can wear at gum tissue and weaken it. Use of tobacco products can break down the protective mucus membranes in the mouth, causing disease. Some psychiatric conditions, such as bulimia, or compulsive digging at the gums with a pencil or fingernail damage gums and softens teeth.
In all of these cases, changing behaviors changes outcomes for your gums.
There are a number of ways to treat exposed tooth root structure. In addition to better hygiene, a dentist, like dentrick dental care, can proceed with surgery. The dentist could graft healthy gum tissues over exposed roots, or the dentist could use ortho filler (a matrix of tissue and bone) to cover exposed roots.