Root decay is among several dental problems that affect millions of people worldwide. While it can affect anyone, root decay is more common in older adults. In addition to causing toothache and facilitating infections, root decay and related issues can play significant roles in compromising overall health and wellbeing. Understanding root decay is important for anyone who wants optimal oral health.
What Is Root Decay?
Tooth root decay, which is also referred to as ‘root caries,’ is a cavity that forms on the root of teeth. It happens when a lesion develops on the root surface of teeth, mostly due to the activity of bacteria, poor oral hygiene and a few other factors.
You should know that the root is the part of a tooth that extends into the bone and holds it in place. The roots of your teeth are only visible when your gum has shrunk as a result of a disease, improper brushing or using a brush that is way too hard, or some age-related gum diseases.
Problems Caused By Cavities on the Roots of Teeth
Cavities are generally bad for oral health; when they are found on teeth roots, they are considered more problematic. The first major issue with such cavities is that they start very fast and spread much quicker than cavities on other parts of the tooth.
When they just set in, cavities on the roots of teeth may not be too problematic. As they grow and spread, they can cause several problems for the individual. Some of the commonest problems they can cause include:
1# Chewing Problems
In many instances, this is the first sign of trouble many people experience. When a cavity starts developing on the tooth root, chewing with the particular tooth will start becoming discomforting. Chewing problems can make feeding hard and affect nutrition habit.
Toothache is also a major problem that will result from tooth root decay. The pain may be mild in the early days, but as the cavity spread to the inside of the teeth and affect the nerve, the pain will become more problematic.
3# Tooth Sensitivity
Teeth sensitivity is another problem individuals will deal with during the early days of root decay. Once the damage to the enamel begins, tooth sensitivity will most likely set in.
4# Tooth Abscess
This is one of the complications that can result from an untreated cavity. It is an infection that is characterized by a pocket of pus in a tooth. This can also result from injury or old dental work and can be really painful and problematic.
5# Bad Breath
There are several factors that can cause bad breath and root decay is one of the prominent ones. Bad breath can also be a symptom of tooth abscess, which is a serious issue.
6# Pain That Interferes With Daily Living
We’ve previously mentioned toothache and pain as part of the problems that can be caused by root decay. It is important to mention that one of the complications that can result from untreated root decay is a sort of serious pain that can interfere with daily living. Feeding and sleeping may become a big problem for an individual suffering root decay.
7# Damage or Broken Teeth
Cavities damage teeth. A really large cavity on the root of a tooth can make the tooth to break off, leaving just the root of the tooth in your gum. Of course, this will expose your mouth and teeth to more problems.
8# Tooth Loss
Root canal decay can also make a tooth to fall off completely from the root. Tooth loss is a big problem that can lead to several other problems like change in your appearance, which can affect your confidence.
9# Positioning Shifts of Teeth after Teeth Loss
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, tooth loss can lead to several other problems. Positioning shifts of other teeth is one of the problems. This problem will be challenging and expensive to correct.
Why Do Older Adults Get Root Decay?
As mentioned earlier, older adults are more likely to suffer root decay. Here are the major reasons for that:
Root decay is a common issue that can cause a lot of other problems for individuals. It is commonest among older adults for obvious reasons. We have explained some key factors about the issue and related problems here. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to manage the condition and its related problems.