Following up on our earlier blog about why you actually have to floss and do so correctly, I wanted to talk about a home tool that patients ask about all the time, the Waterpik. First, in the past couple years the name was changed to a Water Flosser instead of a Waterpik, but it’s essentially the same product. Now this is a great product and they have innovated some really cool new ways of incorporating it into your bathroom. I myself have a Shower-Floss. It attaches to your shower head and this great product can be used in the shower; it eliminates some mess and makes your mouth feel so good after! If you are interested in the product, I can help make a recommendation as to which one – but I wanted to talk about its effectiveness today.
“Ouch! My teeth STILL hurt!”
Although teeth can hurt for any number of reasons, we will conclude this four-part series with one more common reason for tooth pain and oral health discomfort. We have discussed cracked teeth, bruxism/grinding, cavities and dental decay, but recession is another reason for tooth pain. These four reasons are by no means the only reasons a patient could be experiencing discomfort, and the only way to really assess the pain is to visit your dentist to have the areas of concern evaluated, but this is a good foundation for the patient that is wondering why their teeth are so sensitive or painful!
Gum Recession and Exposed Root Surfaces
The gums are soft, and with time they can literally be brushed away, exposing some of the root surface of the tooth. This is commonly seen in the molar region where we rest the toothbrush and lay a lot of pressure on the tooth and gums. Many times the gums will recede as a result of periodontitis or gum disease, again leaving exposed root surfaces. The root surface is meant to be covered, and when left uncovered it is very sensitive and can be very painful, especially to heat, cold and the air. Do not worry; if your gums have receded, many times your dentist or maybe a specialist can do some gum grafting to recover the area. If it’s not covered, not only could the recession worsen but the exposed root surface is very susceptible to decay and could cause a cavity on the root surface. The root is very close to the nerve and many times with root surface decay the nerve becomes involved very easily, leading to more discomfort. So, not to sound like a broken record, but the best form of pain management is prevention, and preventative dentistry is our speciality at Katy Trail Dental. Schedule your visit with us to be evaluated for areas of potential recession and have them monitored and/or arrested so we can help you preserve your teeth for a lifetime!