Getting older has its advantages. You have more experience and more knowledge. You are better prepared for many of the twists and turns that life throws your way.
You are aware of the many ways your body changes, too. You probably aren’t as fast or as strong as you once were. You probably need more time to recover whether you were doing work in the yard or playing with the grandkids.
You also face a higher risk of dental issues including one that isn’t discussed very over – root cavities.
Dr. Rick Barfield and our team at 1st In Smiles wants to help you prevent this problem, but we can help you if you to develop decay on the roots of your teeth. Either way, we hope you will visit our Plano, TX dental office soon. Call 972-380-8105 to plan your visit.
Why Roots Decay
Most of the time, people get cavities on the crowns of their teeth. The crown is the part of your tooth that’s used to bite and chew. The outer layer of the crown is enamel, which is the hardest substance on the human body. The minerals in enamel help it resist decay (although not forever).
Normally, your roots are protected by your gums. Instead of enamel, the outer layer of the roots is made of cementum. This is much softer than your enamel. It also means bacteria can damage it more quickly.
The roots can become exposed if you experience gum recession, which is a common symptom of gum disease. (And you have a greater risk of gum infections as you get older, too.)
This is part of the reason we encourage you to seek treatment for gum disease at the earliest signs (such as bleeding gums and red or swollen gums). By treating the problem, you may be able to prevent root cavities.
If plaque and tartar have already started forming on your exposed roots, we will recommend a treatment called scaling and root planing. This will remove the buildup around the roots, hopefully before decay has taken hold. It also helps the gum tissue reattach to the roots to protect them.
If needed, we make recommend additional treatment, such as antibiotics to get rid of any remaining bacteria and reduce your risk of reinfection.
A Word About Medicine
As we get older, we are more likely to need daily medications as well. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many of these medicines.
And dry mouth can raise your risk of developing gum disease.
If you are taking any medicines, please be sure to let our dental professional know. We’ll be happy to offer some suggestions for fighting dry mouth.
Focus on Prevention
As with an oral health problem, preventive care is always your best option. That includes daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional dental cleanings and exams.