The Importance of Preventing Root Decay

Did you know that root decay occurs when cavities form on the root surfaces of your teeth?  What is root decay?  How do you get it?

In simple terms, as you age, your teeth can wear down and gums may recede, making your teeth more vulnerable to root decay.  Older adults, specifically adults over 50, are naturally more at risk for root decay, not just because of age but because of medication use.  Medications can reduce saliva flow, which increases the risk of root decay.  Decay on the root of a tooth will spread more rapidly than on the surface of the tooth, possibly increasing your risk for infection and the need for root canal treatment.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), because many older adults lacked benefits of fluoride and modern dental care when they were growing up, they often have a number of dental fillings.  Over the years, these fillings may weaken and tend to fracture and leak around the edges.  Bacteria accumulate in these tiny crevices and leak around the edges, which leads to root decay.

Routine dental cleanings, exams, and x-rays are imperative in helping to prevent root decay.  Patients can also help with decay prevention by doing the following:

  • Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss at least once a day, but preferably after every meal
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals daily

The doctors at Excellence in Dentistry (EID) are committed to educating our patients on preventive dental care in order to prevent root decay.  Be sure to ask one of our doctors or clinical team members about your risks for root decay at your next appointment.

Excellence in Dentistry can help you keep your teeth for life, and make a difference, one smile at a time.

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