HIDE YOUR ROOTS (and we don’t mean hair)!
Have you ever heard of the term “root decay”?
Root decay is tooth decay that occurs on the root of the tooth… below the natural gum line. Root decay occurs in cases where the root of a tooth is exposed due to gum recession, where it is susceptible to damage ca used by cavity-causing bacteria. So essentially, a patient can only experience root decay if they have a portion of their tooth root exposed… which is why it’s so important to prevent gum recession.
Who is at risk?
Adult and senior patients (those who experience more gum recession than any other age group) are the most at risk for root decay. Our Toronto dentist doesn’t see many younger patients with considerable gum recession, but it can definitely still occur in this age group – especially if the patient isn’t properly looking after their gums and teeth daily, or if they’re being extra aggressive with their brushing and flossing.
It is also typical for many senior patients to be taking certain medications that cause dry mouth. Because our saliva is one of our best defenses against tooth decay, dry mouth is an oral condition that unfortunately promotes bad bacteria growth and dental cavities.
The root portion of the tooth is also not protected by enamel and consists of the underlying/second layer, the dentin. This layer is much more susceptible to decaying also… so it’s extremely important to do everything you can to protect your roots if you have significant recession!
Root Decay Treatment
Cavities at the root of the tooth can be treated with a dental filling… that is, if the extent of decay is mild enough. If the cavity has penetrated all the way to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment or extraction may be the only treatment possible. Prevention and early intervention will always the best bet against root decay.
Come see our friendly Toronto dentist!
If you suspect any kind of decay on your precious teeth, come in to see us before it’s too late! Putting off any pain or physical signs of damage will only make matters worse. We’d be happy to hear from you!