Teeth Roots Exposed

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Think of the roots of your teeth as support beams in a building — they’re buried beneath the surface but are the essential structure that gives your teeth their strength and stability. Roots are firmly embedded in the jawbone, anchoring your teeth so they don’t fall out.

However, because most people have their first visible signs of tooth decay at about age 45, you may not realize for some time that your roots have begun to deteriorate. The roots of your teeth extend below the gum line and form a firm attachment to your jawbone; when damaged, they can cause a considerable threat to your tooth and gums.

The root is covered with cementum, a hard layer of protective tissue. When acidic foods and drinks like soda, wine, or beer eat away at this hard layer, bacteria can get into the root structure and start to break it down from the inside.

Teeth Roots Exposed: What’s Going On?

The hard outer layer of your tooth root is called the cementum. It is cemented onto the softer dentin, forming a protective covering for the tooth root. When the enamel covering is worn away through constant exposure to acidic foods and drinks, bacteria can enter the dentin, causing an infection that can eat away at the root.

This process can take years and often goes undetected until the tooth falls out one day. When a tooth root becomes infected, the gums swell and may become red, tender, and sensitive to hot or cold. The infection can spread to the jawbone, causing pain and swelling, even tooth root exposure.

Recognizing When A Root Is Exposed

If you suspect your tooth root has been exposed, you may notice a foul, rotten smell coming from your mouth, a change in your gum color, or pain when chewing food. In some cases, the tooth may also shift in position.

A dental exam can help determine whether a tooth root has been exposed. Your dentist can also give you a treatment plan based on how bad the exposed roots are and how many teeth are affected.

Typical Symptoms Of An Exposed Tooth Root

  • A foul, rotten odor emanates from the mouth
  • Gum color changes.
  • Pain when chewing food
  • Positioning of the teeth
  • Swelling of the gum
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Bleeding of the gum

You need to see a dentist or an oral surgeon to determine if your tooth root has been exposed.

Be On The Look Out For These Causes (and How to Avoid Them)!


Retreatment removes the old filling, cleans the root, and fills the tooth with new material. It’s a common culprit in exposed root situations. Since root canals are usually more delicate than fillings, they can be broken or knocked out of place more quickly, exposing more of the root.


A sealant is a coating placed on the chewing surface of molars to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are particularly effective on the root surfaces of molars, which are often the first places to show signs of deterioration.

Gum Disease

While gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, it’s a condition that can allow infection to enter the tooth roots. If the infection enters the bloodstream, it can cause serious heart, kidney, and brain issues when left untreated.

Options For Fixing Your Exposed Tooth Root


Root canal therapy is often an option for treatment, but if the root has been exposed too far, the tooth must be pulled for the infected area to heal.


If the tooth is not too damaged, your dentist may recommend rehabilitation to clean the tooth, remove any bacteria, and seal the tooth with a root filling. If a filling is not an option, a crown will seal the tooth and protect the root from further damage.

Extraction followed by Implant Placement

If the tooth is too damaged for rehabilitation or extraction, your dentist may recommend removing the tooth and replacing it with an implant. The implant is placed in the jawbone under the gums, and the tooth is attached to the implant.

Suggestions For An Exposed Root Treatment

If a root has been exposed, you’ll want to contact a dentist immediately. When a tooth root is exposed, it can cause significant problems, and the sooner you get help, the easier it will be to fix.

Your dentist will first need to determine the extent of the damage to the tooth root. If the tooth can be saved, they will likely recommend a root canal procedure to clean out the infection and save the tooth. If the damage is too bad, they might suggest removing the tooth and putting in an implant.

Once the infection has been cleared, you can protect the treated area by brushing carefully and using a dental floss threader. Dentists may also recommend using fluoride mouthwash, eating a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist every six months for cleaning and maintenance.

When Roots Are Exposed Too Far For An Easy Fix

Infected or damaged roots are treated with a root canal. In some cases, the dentist may recommend extracting a severely damaged tooth along with the surrounding teeth to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

An exposed tooth root can be very painful and lead to significant issues if not treated. If the root is exposed, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. A dentist usually begins by numbing the area around the exposed root, so you don’t feel any pain during the treatment.

In case the infection has spread to the surrounding tissue, your dentist may recommend removing some parts of the gums, cleaning out the roots, and replacing the gums with tissue from another part of your mouth.

An Exposed Tooth Root Gets You To The Dentist; Now It’s Your Turn to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

The root of a tooth is its foundation. It helps to hold the tooth in place and protects it from damage. If a root is exposed, it can lead to decay and, eventually tooth loss. Root exposure happens when the root of a tooth becomes exposed to bacteria or acidic and sugary substances such as sugar.

Another way a root can be exposed is through trauma, like biting down too hard on a piece of food or hitting the side of your mouth with your hand. Trauma to the roots is more likely to lead to decay because the tooth is more susceptible to damage when it’s not fully supported by its roots.

When you’re at risk of an exposed root, please don’t ignore it! Visit your dentist as soon as possible so they can take it out safely and stop it from turning into a cavity, which could lead to tooth loss.

Contact Emerald Coast Dentistry For Your Next Dental Visit

Dental treatments have improved significantly during the last few decades. Various dental procedures are successful, brief, and minimally uncomfortable when done by an expert.

Our staff and specialists can help you with any dental procedure, whether it’s a simple tartar removal, gum root planing, or a root canal. We will go over each procedure in detail at Emerald Coast Dentistry.

If you want to keep your teeth healthy or get new ones, call us immediately to make an appointment.