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Gum Diseases

Gum recession

07/10/2006

Question:

The gum on one of my upper teeth has risen to a point where the top of the tooth (which regularly should be hidden under the gum) is extremely sensitive. What has happened, what do I do, and once I seek my dentist`s help, what can be done to help this? Will this be permanent and require surgery? Thank you

Answer:

You experience sensitivity because the root surface is exposed.  We have micro openings on the root surface which are connected to the tooth's nerve.  Depending on the severity of gum recession and, the amount and shape of the exposed root surface, we generally try to cover the surface with surgery (taking a piece of gum from the roof of your mouth and grafting the exposed site with this piece).  It is routinely done.  But again, it depends on the amount of recession and the shape of the exposed root surface.

If you do not have this surgery, you may develop root surface decays and further inflammation on your gums since it is sensitive and you are hesitant to brush the area.  If it is a small recession, your dentist may prefer to try fluoride application first to eliminate sensitivity.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University