What is Root Decay… and Am I at Risk?
Here’s what you should know

Are you happy with the current shade of your teeth?

Tooth decay most commonly occurs on the surface (or through the enamel) of a tooth. However, sometimes, tooth decay can occur at the root of a tooth… referred to as “root decay”. Root decay occurs when a tooth’s root is exposed, typically due to gums that have receded or pulled back, revealing more of the tooth than is considered normal.

Ask our Hamilton Dentist: Who’s at risk for root decay?

Anyone with gum recession or with exposed tooth root (in other words, the dentin layer of the tooth) is at risk for root decay. Gum recession affects adults and seniors the most… but root decay is most common among seniors. Because seniors tend to have a dryer mouth environment, their decay risk is even greater, because these conditions unfortunately encourage cavity-causing bacteria to wreak havoc on the teeth.

Prevention & Treatment

Root decay is best prevented through proper daily gum care. This includes flossing daily, and brushing twice daily – always gently and without excessive force, and using a soft bristled toothbrush. A cavity at the root is treated the same way a cavity in the enamel is… with a filling. However, oftentimes root decay is so significant or deep that a filling will not be able to do the trick… and a root canal procedure or extraction is the only solution. This is why prevention and early intervention is key in order to protect your teeth from root decay.

Root decay is also prevented through regular dental cleanings and check-ups with the dentist and hygienist. The gums require the teeth to be professionally cleaned every 6 or so months in order to be as healthy as they can be!

Has it been a while since you’ve last been to the dentist? Come visit our friendly dentist in Hamilton today!

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