Toothbrush Abrasion

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

Does a breath of cold air make your teeth hurt? One of the consequences of aging can be teeth that  are sensitive to breathing cold air, and drinking hot and cold liquids. This common ailment is caused by  the gradual recession of gum tissue which exposes the sensitive roots.

Brushing  too  aggressively or using a hard toothbrush are often causes of root exposure. Teeth have  an  inner layer called dentin which is sensitive to temperature and more prone to decay than the outer  layer  of enamel.   When the roots are exposed,  there  is no protective  enamel to prevent sensitivity, and  the  teeth can appear discolored at the gum line since the exposed dentin is a darker, yellowish color.  In addition, you may become prone to root cavities if the area of exposed dentin is not protected.      

Fortunately, your dentist can use a simple bonding procedure to protect exposed roots and relieve your  discomfort. By using a tooth colored material to cover the affected areas,  you  can receive the  important  benefits  of reduced sensitivity as well as a more natural, attractive smile.

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