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Root Cavities and Gum Disease

Many of our Yuba City dental patients unfortunately have gum disease. This problem is not just limited to our practice and clients, for it is a common problem throughout the United States. This poses definite difficulties because gum disease leads to gum recession, and gum recession leads to exposed tooth roots and painful sensitivity.

Can I Get Root Cavities?

A root cavity is decay that forms on the roots of the teeth. Unlike the top of the tooth, covered in enamel, the roots do not have a hard covering and are made up of dentin. Dentin is softer than enamel and more porous, meaning it’s easily eroded by acids if exposed by gum recession. Decay in the roots can be repaired if it is not too extensive, but often a tooth with a root cavity needs to be extracted.

Root cavities are completely preventable if gum recession is treated. Although gum disease typically causes gum recession, other sources of this problem are:

  • Oral piercings of the lip or tongue
  • Failure to brush and floss regularly
  • Skipping dental cleanings
  • Using a hard bristle toothbrush
  • Aging

Aging is unavoidable, and the saying that someone is “long in the tooth” refers to the fact that gum recession is to be expected as we get older. Still, even in the elderly, good dental hygiene and regular visits to our Yuba City family dentists goes a long way towards preventing the dental problems that result from gum disease.

What to Do About Gum Recession

If you already have some gum recession, use fluoride toothpaste and mouthrinses that help rebuild enamel and destroy bacteria. Avoid sticky and sugary foods and acidic beverages. This will slow decay and disease. In severe cases, our dentists can perform oral surgery to repair receding gums. Even with this option, prevention is the best way to avoid gum recession. If you have concerns about gum disease or have questions about exposed roots, contact us today and schedule a consultation.

Apr 13, 2017 | Oral Health, Sensitive Teeth


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