• 13 AUG 18

    ROOT CARIES

    What is it? Root caries is a cavity located in the root surface of a tooth, usually close to or below the gum-line. Mandibular molars (lower jaw back teeth) are the most common location to find root caries, followed by mandibular premolars. Root caries has become an important dental problem because people are living longer.

    Root caries is not exclusive to older patients. Any caries prone patient having gum recession can develop root caries.

    The following will make you more vulnerable to root caries:

    • Gum recession (gum recession exposes roots of the tooth which is softer than enamel that covers the crown of the tooth consequently; this area is most likely to develop decay).
    • Certain medications that reduce saliva flow and cause you to have a dry mouth. (The constant flow of saliva is important to “flush” the mouth and reduce the effects of acids produced by bacteria in dental plaque)
    • If you have impaired ability to effectively brush your teeth because of arthritis or other disability; this allows dental plaque to build up and can lead to root caries.

    How is it diagnosed?

    Root caries can be diagnosed by a dentist. X rays are also helpful in diagnosis, particularly when they occur between back teeth.

     

    Treatment

    Root caries are often very difficult to restore due to their location, problems with moisture control and proximity to the pulp and are therefore prone to high recurrence rates. Ultimately the tooth might have to be extracted.

    The treatment and management considerations for root caries vary depending upon the extent and location of the lesion as well as the type of materials being used.

     

    Prevention

    Prevention of root caries include

    • Dietary modification (reducing frequency of sugar intake)
    • Steps for effectively removing plaque (e.g. electric toothbrush)
    • Stimulating saliva flow (e.g. sugar free chewing gum)
    • Fluoride application to make root surfaces more resistant to caries – toothpastes containing fluoride

NHS Treatments

  • AFTER EXTRACTION CARE

    To avoid a dry socket (post operative infection of the bone), usually due to early loss of the blood clot… Avoid excessive exercise for several hours. Ideally, rest by sitting in a chair and use an extra pillow for the first night.Excessive exercise will cause further bleeding. Do not drink anything alcoholic for 24 hours.

  • BRUXISM – Grinding or Clenching your teeth

    Bruxism (Medical term for the habit of grinding/clenching your teeth). Who is most at risk? – You are more likely to suffer from bruxism if you: Have a stressful lifestyle Drink large amounts of alcohol Smoke Take medication for sleep, depression or anxiety (paroxetine, fluoxetine and setraline) Drink six or more cups of tea or coffee a

  • FLUORIDE

    What is Fluoride? Fluoride is a natural mineral that is able to protect teeth against decay. It is not a substitute for cleaning your teeth and eating healthily. It is found in toothpastes, mouth rinses and is added to public water supplies in some areas (not in London). How does Fluoride work? If fluoride is

  • ORAL HYGIENE

    What is it? Keeping your teeth and gums clean, healthy and free from infection. Good oral hygiene will prevent dental decay and periodontal disease and is essential for preserving gums and the bone which keeps your teeth secure in your mouth. If you smoke you are much more likely to get periodontal problems. You are

  • TOOTH SENSITIVITY & EROSION

    TOOTH (dentine) HYPERSENSITIVITY and EROSION (worn teeth) What is hypersensitivity? It is a short sharp pain arising from exposed dentine (part of the tooth which is in communication with the nerve inside the tooth) in response to stimuli. These could be thermal such as hot or cold drinks, chemical such as sweet or acidic food

  • YOUR CHILD’S FIRST TEETH

    Your child’s first teeth will begin to erupt at about six months of age. The lower deciduous (baby) incisors (front teeth) erupt first followed by the upper deciduous incisors. These are followed a few months later by the lower, then upper deciduous first molars (back chewing teeth), the deciduous canines (pointed teeth at side of