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Tooth Decay and the Aging Adult

Senior Adult Patient Roswell GA

Teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but they will always demand proper care to retain their condition. While it is common to focus on cavity prevention for kids, the aging adult is also susceptible to a certain type of decay. If you were born prior to the 1970’s, you may be facing root decay.

What is Root Decay?

Most people think of decay or cavities like the type that develops on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, otherwise known as “pit and fissure” cavities. These are cavities that are largely prevented due fluoride and other dental care methods. If you were born before 1970, however, you probably did not get fluoride from your drinking water.

Root decay, however, only affects the root of the tooth. Tooth roots are especially vulnerable to damage, as they are not covered by hard enamel like the rest of your tooth and are composed of living tissue. Comparing the rest of your tooth to the tooth root is like comparing glass to wood. When bacteria lingers along the tooth root, it can quickly eat away at the surface and cause root decay. In a healthy mouth, the gums cover the tooth roots and bacteria gets cleaned from this area of the tooth in a timely manner.

Why Are Seniors More Susceptible?

The aging adult can be more at risk for root decay than the younger population due to the fact that they face many of the situations that cause this type of decay. The major causes of root decay are:

  • Receding gums
  • Dry mouth
  • Sucking cough drops, mints and candy
  • Poor oral hygiene habits

Treating Root Decay

A skilled dentist can treat root decay, but it can pose more challenge than simply repairing a traditional cavity on the top of a tooth. This is due to the fact that the tooth root is much closer to the nerves of the tooth, so nerve exposure is a risk when removing root decay. This can result in the need for a root canal and crown to save the tooth and prevent discomfort. Even when the nerve is not exposed, however, damage to the tooth root makes the tooth more vulnerable to future fracture so a root canal and crown is a common demand in treating root decay.

Preventing Root Decay

Just because you were born prior to the 1970’s does not mean root decay is inevitable. You can adhere to the following to help prevent root decay and other dental problems as you age:

  • Eat balanced diet
  • Avoid sucking on sugary candy
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Practice better brushing and flossing
  • Treat dry mouth
  • See your dentist every six months

How long has it been since you had a dental checkup? Dr. Mitzi Morris is a caring and talented dentist for all ages, from preschool to geriatrics. Schedule your appointment today.

Posted on behalf of Mitzi D. Morris

1295 Hembree Rd, Suite B202
Roswell, GA 30076

Phone: 678-459-2990

Monday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Our Patient Reviews

Mitzi D. Morris, DMD, PC

4.8/ 5.0

Based on 44 reviews

  • Dr. Morris is an excellent dentist. Her ability to relate to her patients makes her a stand-out amongst those in her profession. She practices dentistry with superior technique and care. Her staff is friendly, helpful, and accommodating. I feel she hires only the best! One special mention: I suffer from panic attacks at times- along with claustrophobia. Dr. Morris is the first dentist I have ever had who helped calm my fears. Thus, my experience exceeded expectations! Great service!

    Cathy Q
  • Definitely would recommend Dr. Morris to anyone. She has been my dentist for over 8 years! Dr. Morris is extremely personable and is serious about the completing the best care possible. Great established dental team! Very accommodating to your schedule.

    Kelly T
  • Great and very educational experience. Compared to my last two dentists this experience blows them both out of the water. The staff is very friendly, and very helpful. I had to go in for a total of four visits a few weeks apart from each other. They made me feel very comfortable the entire time and kept making sure I was pleased. Getting a deep cleaning went very smoothly. It was also brought to my attention that the way I was flossing was incorrect. And have since changed methods. I worked specifically with Dr. Morris. She was very nice, and took the time to explain things. Which is a huge plus for me. Dr. Morris and the staff members worked effortlessly together. I was comfortable enough to sit back and relax, strangely enough, while having cavities drilled and fillings put in. Billing and scheduling appointments, as well as follow up for confirmation of upcoming appointments was very easy. I will say my favorite part of the experience was how friendly of an environment the staff has created. That alone is deserving of a 5 star review, and the rest is honestly icing on the cake. I highly recommend this practice on all fronts and will continue using them!

    Eric F
  • I transferred from a long-term and very good relationship with my former dentist because of a move, and I was a little apprehensive about a new dentist. Dr. Morris has been great. She is friendly, patient-concerned and the office is new, comfortable and clean. Everyone seems to enjoy working there. I feel like I'm in good hands!

    Christopher P
  • Dr. Morris and her staff are very professional. Additionally, she as well as her staff have an excellent "bedside manner." The office is new and well equipped. If one has an appointment and an earlier one opens up, Dr. Morris offers it to her patients as she did with my last appointment.

    David G
  • I have never met a staff so nice and charming. This staff will make you feel comfortable and relaxed in Dr. Morris's Spa like office and everyone is professional and approachable too. Andrea R. explained the process of my appointment and procedures and is definitely a highly-educated and thorough dental hygenist -- SHE IS A ROCKSTAR. I'm so glad that Dr. Morris and her dental team have been my "go-to" for the last 5 years, and I wont be going anywhere else! Overall - A++ Dr. Morris...highly recommended to my family and friends!!!

    Adam O
  • I've been a patient of Dr. Mitzi Morris for many years, and recommend her without reservation. The office is modern. clean and spacious. The staff has always been welcoming and very helpful. And the women who work for her as dental technicians are fantastic; they do a professional and effective deep cleaning, but with a careful, gentle touch. It is clear to me that Dr. Morris reads her professional journals and upgrades her practice to stay very current with the latest best practices in dentistry. (I have had some dentists who stopped updating their practices after leaving dental school!) With Dr. Morris you can count on receiving the very latest dental technology. Her prices are very fair, and I have never been surprised by an unexpected cost or had problems with insurance not covering services rendered.

    Bruce C
  • I have never experienced an office so down to earth, so outgoing and so willing to satisfy. If you've grown to dread the dentist then lay down your sword and give this office a shot.

    Marc Mamane

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Office Hours

Monday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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1295 Hembree Rd, Suite B202
Roswell, GA 30076

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