Why is root decay so common and how to prevent it

tooth decay
The more we grow, the more our teeth wear out and the more our gums recede, which makes adults very susceptible to root caries. Its ability to evolve quickly to the pulp and its location makes it aggressive and more difficult to treat by the dentist.
Fortunately, this type of decay can be avoided by adopting optimal dental hygiene and beneficial habits for our oral health.
Want to know more about root caries? Find out everything you need to know in this article!

What is root decay?

Root decay is a type of decay that develops on the tooth root when the gums recede. The root not being covered with email is more fragile and very sensitive to acid attacks.
The acidity released by the bacteria during their metabolism will degrade the components of the dental root causing cavities. These lesions, therefore, evolve more quickly reaching the pulp and destroying the entire tooth.

Evolution of root decay:

root decay stages
Root decay often evolves without pain and usually discovered at a very advanced stage when the tooth can not be saved. It is therefore important to visit your dentist regularly to check the condition of the teeth and mouth.
Initially, they appear as small spots that evolve rapidly to form cavities that progress in depth to reach the pulp. Visit your dentist as soon as you notice a stain or black dot on your tooth.
There are also other signs of root caries:
  • A pain at the base of the infected tooth.
  • A bad taste in the mouth.
  • The feeling of an irregularity on the tooth when passing the tongue.
  • The appearance of a black spot at the base of the tooth.

Why Are Seniors at an Increased Risk?

Adults are the most affected by root caries for various reasons:
  • Years of aggressive brushing or smoking lead to the receding gums resulting in the exposure of the dental root to the oral environment. This one being more sensitive will quickly degrade causing the appearance of caries. Besides, poorly adapted crowns can also lead to gingival recessions; if you notice that the gum of the tooth restored by a crown is inflamed (red, swollen and bleeding) do not hesitate to visit your doctor.
  • Also, the salivary flow tends to be reduced with age because of the aging of the salivary glands but also due to certain drugs, creating an ideal environment for the development of dental plaque and cavities.
  • Negligence of oral hygiene or bad dental brushing increases the risk of root caries.
  • An unhealthy diet with excessive consumption of sweets.

How to prevent root decay?

prevention of root decay
To avoid root caries, two parameters to take into account: Oral hygiene and Diet.

There is an intimate link between diet and oral health since all we eat will go through our mouths first. A healthy diet will prevent all types of caries and other general diseases related to age.

Concerning to oral hygiene, I recommend you to :
  • Brush your teeth 2 times a day for at least 3 minutes, with a good brushing technique and a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid hurting your gum. Brushing will eliminate the plaque that is responsible for dental caries.
  • Floss your teeth once a day. Flossing helps you to eliminate 30% of the remaining plaque between the teeth, inaccessible to brushing. You can also use an interdental brush if your teeth are not tight. Oral irrigator will also be effective. A study has shown that oral irrigator reduces inflammation of the gums.
  • Ask your dentist if you should use mouthwash. It is an antiseptic solution that eliminates aggressive bacteria from our mouth responsible for gum disease. But the mouthwash should not be used continuously, hence the importance of asking your dentist's advice.
  • Stop smoking. Tobacco is a risk factor for gum disease and receding gums causing the exposure of the dental roots and thus the appearance of caries. Balance your diet by avoiding the excessive consumption of sugary foods and reducing the number of daily meals.