If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know firsthand how painful it is — not to mention the social implications when you can’t smile. Untreated toothaches can also lead to more severe and long-lasting implications.
Tooth decay and root exposure are two conditions that may arise with the failure of your teeth to be adequately cared for. If you’re worried about either or both of these problems, read on for more information about what they are and how you can avoid them.
A tooth is made up of three main parts: the crown, the root, and the root canal. The crown is the part of the tooth that can be seen when you smile or look in a mirror, while the root is the part that is buried in your gums.
Where do roots come from? Roots are formed in the early stages of tooth development in the womb when your baby teeth start to emerge. As your teeth grow, the roots push into your jawbone, forming a fibrous attachment.
This attachment is called the periodontal ligament, which keeps your teeth in place and helps to support your facial structure. However, a tooth can also have an inflammatory process in the jaw that can cause bone loss and tooth root exposure. This means that the bone around the tooth may have been eroded, and the root can be exposed.
If the root of a tooth is exposed, you may notice a few things, including:
This is usually due to nerve irritation that has occurred due to the exposure of the tooth root.
The teeth may appear darker in color than before, and the teeth may appear longer than usual due to the gums pulling away, exposing the tooth root.
Movement of the Teeth
The tooth may shift out of place and become misaligned. These are all signs that a tooth root may be exposed and treatment may be needed.
The tooth root can become exposed for a variety of reasons, including:
If a tooth gets infected, the root will probably come out, and the infection will spread to the gums and other mouth tissue.
If the gums become inflamed and the infection spreads, it is possible that the root will become exposed and the infection will continue to spread.
If a tooth is hit hard enough, the protective layers covering the tooth may crack. The root may be exposed due to this and may become infected.
If you have had orthodontic treatment, a tooth may become dislodged, and the root may be exposed. If the root is left untreated, it may become infected, and the tooth may need to be extracted entirely.
If you grind your teeth at night, the root of the tooth may become exposed and sore.
If a tooth root has become exposed, you must call your dentist as soon as possible. They will look at the root to see if it can be fixed at the dentist's office or if it needs to be taken out.
The dentist may cover the root with a sealant, usually made of metal wire or dental acrylic. The root cover will protect the tooth and the gum from further damage and allow the root to heal.
Another option is for the dentist to remove the exposed root and replace it with a dental implant.
Dental implant treatment can be the best option because it gives you tremendous long-term results and a reason to go to the dentist more often.
If the root has been exposed and treated, you must ensure you don’t reopen the area. Taking good care of the mouth and the affected tooth is crucial after the treatment of root exposure. Make sure you visit the dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene.
You may also want to consider talking to your dentist about getting a fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth and help prevent further damage. If the root has been removed, the missing tooth structure must be made up for with dental implants.
Otherwise, the gap in your mouth will cause the surrounding gums to collapse and the facial structure to change. This can make you look less attractive and make it hard to chew and speak properly.
If the root has been exposed and the dentist feels it is impossible to opt for an easy fix, then you may be advised to have the tooth removed entirely. This can be done with either a traditional extraction or an endodontic treatment that preserves the tooth.
Endodontic treatment may be recommended for teeth that are too damaged for a traditional extraction. The endodontic treatment is done in two steps. First, a flap is made in the gums to open up the tooth and expose the root.
Then, the nerve is carefully removed from the tooth root, and the tooth is removed. Finally, the tooth root can be treated, and a dental implant can be placed to replace the extracted tooth.
Once the roots are adequately covered, keeping the area clean and healthy is essential. This will prevent the infection from coming back and causing further damage to the healthy surrounding tissue. It’s also vital to ensure that the healing time is sufficient and that you take the necessary steps to avoid reopening the area. On average, root-treated tooth wounds take about two weeks to heal.
This is an excellent time to talk to your dentist about any habits or lifestyle choices that might affect your healing (caffeine, alcohol, etc.). As with most things in life, prevention is the best cure. When it comes to tooth roots, the best way to prevent problems is to maintain good oral hygiene and practice safe dental habits.
Al Care Dental Clinic is a dental clinic in Leduc, Alberta. Visit our website to learn more about our professional dental services, like dental crowns, implants, oral surgery, etc.
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