An Exposed tooth root can indicate damage to your gum or tooth.

The tooth root sits below the gum line and helps to hold or anchor your tooth in the jawline.

Moreover, exposed tooth rot can be very much uncomfortable to deal with and can cause sharp pain and sensitivity when you are brushing your teeth.

You can also feel this sharp pain when you are eating something that is hot, cold, sweet, sour, or spicy.

One of the most common ones that occur with age is receding gums and can even occur if you have perfect oral hygiene.

However, it is usually a sign of gum disease.

Research suggests that about 23% of American adults have deep gum recession that is more than 3 millimeters.

Keep on reading to find out more about exposed tooth root, want might be causing it, and how you can treat it.

Symptoms of Exposed Tooth Root

Some of the following signs and symptoms of exposed teeth are as follows, however, they can vary depending on the cause of your exposed root.

Moreover, you can also have exposed roots with no symptoms.

Tender Gums: If you have exposed tooth roots, you may experience tender or sore gums that may also bleed when you brush them.

exposed tooth root 1

Longer-looking tooth: In case you have exposed tooth root, your teeth or tooth may look longer than usual.

This will also be the case if your gum line is receding.

Swelling and Pain: You can develop sharp pain and swelling if the nerve or pulp of your tooth becomes infected.

Tooth Discoloration: Moreover, you will also notice discoloration if you have tooth decay.

Sensitivity: Brushing your teeth may cause sensitivity as well as eating foods that are hot, cold, sour, acidic, or sweet.

Causes of an Exposed Tooth Root

An exposed tooth root is often a sign of gum disease or receding gums.

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Gum Disease

Your gums attach to the teeth at the lower point than the gum edges that you can see.

This forms a small space. i.e. sulcus and the food you eat as well as plaque can get trapped in this space. This often causes a gum infection or gingivitis.

Plaque is a thin film of bacteria and it constantly forms on the surface of your teeth.

Moreover, as it advances, it hardens and can become tartar. With this, you can develop an infection when plaque extends below the gum line.

If you do not get treatment for it, it can cause the gums to separate from the teeth, thus leading to an injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

As a result, your tooth can become loose and unstable. Furthermore, if the infection progress, you may lose your tooth or need a dentist to remove it.

Receding Gums

Periodontal disease is a progressive form of gingivitis and it starts with the build-up of plaque and bacteria within your gums and teeth.

When you do not get early treatment, pockets form between your teeth and gums which creates a breeding ground for even more bacteria and plaque to form.

In some cases, medications can cause dry mouth which also increases your risk for receding gums.

Other Causes of Exposed Tooth Root

Though gum diseases and receding gums are the most common reasons for exposed tooth roots, other factors can also contribute to them.

These are:

Hard or Aggressive Brushing: Accroding to a study, when you brush with a hard-bristled toothbrush, it can lead to gum recession.

Moreover, brushing your teeth aggressively may also lead to gum recession.

Using Tobacco: All forms of tobacco can raise your risk for developing gum disease, which in turn, increases your risk for developing receding gums.

Tooth Grinding: Repeatedly grinding your teeth or clenching them can cause pressure that wears down your gums.

Most often, you unknowingly clench your teeth at night while you are asleep.

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Injury: A traumatic mouth injury can expose the root of your tooth.

Misaligned Teeth: Misaligned Teeth are more susceptible to gum recession than aligned ones.

Other Factors: Rare factors that lead to such a tooth are:

  • a lost filling
  • medications that damage the teeth or their roots
  •  complications of oral surgery, like when a surgeon removes most part of your tooth and leaves behind the root beneath the gumline
  • genetic disorders or anomalies like conditions that cause very short tooth roots.

Treatment for Gum Recession

Treating an exposed tooth root depends on the causes and the specific symptoms you might be experiencing.

The treatment of gum recession includes:

Crowns: A dental crown is a cap that can help protect and strengthen your tooth.

Moreover, it may be able to cover the exposed root of your tooth.

Gingival Mask: In case you have a number of teeth with gum recession, then your doctor may recommend a gingival mask.

This is a removable artificial gum that covers the receding gums.

Gum Graft: For this procedure, your dentist will use a piece of tissue from a healthy gum or the roof of your mouth to cover the receding gum.

Flap Surgery: During flap surgery, your surgeon will make a small cut in your gum, remove tartar build-up and bacteria and cover the exposed part of your tooth.

Treatment for Gum Diseases

Your dentist will recommend the following in case of gum diseases:

Dental Scaling: With the help of dental scaling, your dentist will be able to remove bacteria, and tartar below the gum line.

treatment 1

Root Planing: In this procedure, your dentist will smooth out the surfaces of your roots to prevent any further buildup of bacteria.

Surgery: You may need surgery i.e. flap surgery or gum graft if you have advanced gum disease.

Root Canal: In case there is an infection in the root of your tooth, you may need a root canal.

In this procedure, your dentist will remove the infected core of your tooth.

Other Treatment Options

In case of other causes of an exposed tooth root, consider the following:

Teeth Grinding

For the treatment of teeth grinding the treatment often depends on its causes.

If you clench your teeth during the day, an increase in awareness may be enough to target the issue.

However, if you clench your teeth while asleep, your dentist may recommend a mouthguard.

Misaligned Teeth

For the treatment of misaligned teeth, there are different options available.


These include:

Can you Treat an Exposed Tooth Root as Home?

If you do not get treatment for the exposed tooth root, it will not get better unless you receive proper treatment from a dental professional.

If you think that your roots are receding, then make sure to talk to your dentist about the best treatment options.

Moreover, they can also help to identify any signs of gum disease that may be causing an exposed root and help prevent it from worsening.

Preventing the Possibility of Exposing Roots

It is important to note that some individuals are genetically more likely to develop receding gums than others.

Even though you cannot change your genetics, you can still take certain preventive steps to reduce the chances of developing receding gums.

Three of the biggest contributing factors are smoking, plaque buildup, and improper brushing.

Moreover, according to a study, researchers found that:

  • 44.1% of the participants had plaque accumulation
  • 42.7% of individuals were not brushing their teeth properly
  • 7.1% regularly smoked or used smokeless tobacco.

The following are some ways you can reduce your chances of developing exposed tooth roots:

Regular Dental Checkups: Getting regular dental checkups allows your dentist to identify early signs and symptoms of gum disease or recession.

Avoid Tobacco: More than 40% of individuals between the age of 2o to 64 who smoke cigarettes have often untreated gum disease.

exposed tooth root prevention

Moreover, this number is twice as high in smokers as people who never smoke.

Quitting can be hard, however, a healthcare provider can help to create a cessation plan that works for you.

Brush and Floss your Teeth: According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once per day can help.

Avoid Aggressive Brushing: Using a toothbrush that is too hard or brushing them aggressively can damage your gums and expose the roots of your teeth.

Avoid Teeth Grinding: Pressure from grinding can often lead to gum recession.

Wearing a mouthguard can help if your grind your teeth in sleep.

When to See a Dentist?

If you notice an exposed tooth root, then you should make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

However, an exposed root is not always visible, particularly if it is at the back of your mouth or crowded by other teeth.

For this reason, you should see a dentist if you experience the following:

  • sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
  • pain when brushing your teeth
  • changes to the shape of your teeth or gums
  • if you experience frequent gum bleeding.

Moreover, in case there are breaks in a tooth, a serious blow to your mouth, severe pain that does not respond to analgesic medication, fever along with tooth pain, or any other indications of an infection or abscess, seek emergency dental care.

Final Thoughts

An exposed tooth root can be due to sensitivity or pain, which can also be intense. Moreover, there are many other causes including tooth decay, gum recession, trauma, and misaligned teeth.

Thus, if you notice an exposed tooth root or experience symptoms, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible, Immediate treatment reduces the risk of complications as well as a need for more extensive medical treatments.