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Getting to the Root of the Problem: Tooth Sensitivity and Exposed Root

Dr. Hellwig Apr 24, 2017

Illustration of a tooth and its rootAt the cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry practice of Dr. Peter Hellwig, we believe that dentistry has the power to improve not only a person’s smile and oral health, but also a person’s overall quality of life. Take, for instance, those people who are suffering from tooth sensitivity. The ice-cold sip of water on a hot day or first bite of a piping hot entrée that so many take for granted can be a chore, if not pure torture, for them. If you can relate only too well to such a scenario, then Dr. Hellwig wants you to know that you could be just a dental appointment or two away from the relief you desire.

Dr. Hellwig is pleased to offer treatments for tooth sensitivity and exposed roots at his San Diego, CA practice, as well as for the most common underlying cause of exposed roots, gum disease. Indeed, your tooth sensitivity may be an early warning signal that you have periodontitis, the more advanced stage of gum disease. By seeking the treatment you need now, before the disease has an opportunity to progress, you are not only restoring your quality of life, but also possibly protecting your teeth from being lost, as gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.

If you are currently experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t hesitate to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Hellwig. You’ll be glad you did.

The Connection between Exposed Roots and Tooth Sensitivity

Gum disease occurs in two stages. Gingivitis, the first and less severe of the two stages, does not usually produce obvious symptoms at first. Those patients who regularly visit the dentist, however, can have the disease easily diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately, when left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis, the more advanced and destructive stage of gum disease.

One of the effects of periodontitis is that the gum tissues begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets in which bacteria can collect. This exposes the roots of the teeth. Although the roots are covered by a protective substance called cementum, similar to the enamel that protects the teeth above the gum line, the cementum will eventually erode due to exposure to the bacteria.

As the cementum wears away, the more delicate layer of tooth called dentin is exposed. This layer has thousands of microscopic tubules that lead to the root canals within the tooth, where the dental pulp is contained. The dental pulp is composed of, among other tissues, extremely sensitive nerves. The opened tubules now provide a direct pathway to these nerves, which causes you to experience tooth sensitivity.

If you seek treatment right away, it will probably be possible to treat the issue before permanent damage is done to the affected teeth. However, the longer you leave the issue untreated, the more likely the dental pulp will become infected and root canal therapy will become necessary.

Learn More about Tooth Sensitivity and Exposed Roots

To learn more about tooth sensitivity and exposed roots, please contact the dental practice of Dr. Peter Hellwig today.

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