The root of a tooth is normally covered by the bone and gum supporting the tooth. If this support is removed part of the root is exposed. It may be mild, moderate or severely exposed. Root exposure exposes the soft inner and innervated dentine core of a tooth to the oral environment for which it was not designed. The tooth may be sensitive to otherwise normal stimuli like hot and cold. It is prone to tooth decay. Over time, the tooth may loosen and fall out.
The expression “long in the tooth” refers to root exposure and gum loss as part of the ageing process.
Get a Toothpic report or visit your dentist to find out if you have exposed roots. Following this, they may apply sensitizing agents or fluoride gels to the sensitive area, treat any gum disease, and, in severe cases of exposed tooth roots, recommend a dental surgeon to perform a gum graft to cover the exposed area.