You are never too old to have healthy teeth and gums. As we get older, there is a recession of gums and bone. Root exposure is common. Hormonal changes or the use of certain prescribed medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva helps to buffer acid produced by bacteria in your mouth. A decrease in saliva will increase decay in the mouth. Root decay is more prevalent in seniors due to gum/bone recession, and exposed root surfaces, which are weaker than the enamel on teeth and also root surfaces are difficult to access to clean, this will lead to root cavities. It is important to keep regular dental exams to detect decay so it can be treated with conventional fillings or silver diamine fluoride. Fluoride treatment is also very important to fight root decay. Dentists at Sunridge Dental Clinic may recommend a topical fluoride rinse or Biotene rinse if you are at risk of root/tooth decay. Regular check-ups and hygiene appointments will help prevent future tooth loss and the need for dentures.

Things You Can do to Prevent Tooth Decay

  • Brushing/flossing 2 times a day for at least 2 minutes. If manual dexterity is a concern or a caregiver is looking after your loved ones, our dentists and hygienists at Sunridge Dental Clinic may recommend other dental products, such as an electric toothbrush, air flosser, or Waterpik.
  • For dry mouth, drink lots of water, or the hygienists and dentists may recommend Biotene or a topical fluoride rinse.
  • Maintain good health by proper diet and exercise.
  • Schedule routine dental hygiene therapy to remove plaque and tartar from the hard to reach root surfaces will help prevent decay before it becomes a larger problem and leads to emergency treatment or tooth loss and a need for dentures.
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