In a healthy mouth, gum tissue surrounds and protects the weaker areas of teeth from tooth decay. The areas of tooth below the gum line are only protected by a thin layer of cementum. That is why it is essential that you care for your gums as much as you do your teeth. Gums that have been traumatized by over-brushing or injury may recede, exposing the roots of teeth.
Likewise, gum disease also causes gum recession. When gums recede, it is possible for a cavity to form at and below the gum line. This poses a challenge to dentists because treating tooth decay below the gum line requires more than just drilling and filling.
Gum Surgery may be Necessary
When a cavity extends beyond the gum line, in order to reach it, your dentist may need to perform gum surgery, also known as a gingivectomy. This involves the dentist cutting away a flap of gum, without removing it completely, to allow them access to the decayed area of tooth. They can then remove the decay and fill the tooth before replacing and stitching up the gum tissue.
Moisture Makes Treating Root Decay a Challenge
Tooth decay below the gum line is also known as root decay as it affects the roots of teeth. Due to the location of the procedure, performing a filling in this area is much more challenging for dentists. This is because of the presence of both blood and saliva. In order for a filling to be fully effective, the area needs to be dry. Moisture can compromise the efficiency and lifespan of amalgam fillings.
This can lead to a reoccurrence of tooth decay under the filling. This is why it is so important that you take care of your gums.
Be Extra Vigilant if You Have Gum Recession
If you currently have gum recession in one or more areas, to prevent decay from occurring below the gum line, make sure you practice excellent oral hygiene. Don't brush too hard either because brushing with too much force can wear away the surface of teeth. You also avoid sugary foods and drinks as these are the favorites of tooth-decay causing bacteria.
Remember too that foods such as white bread often cling to teeth after you have eaten. Whether you have gum recession or not, ensure that you don't leave food remnants clinging to your teeth. Drink plenty of water after eating, and if you do brush afterwards, wait 30 minutes to allow your saliva to do its job before brushing. For more information, contact a local children's dentist.
There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.