Risk for decay is not just limited to the young and those with frequent sugar consumption. Receding gums from such things as periodontal disease or misaligned teeth can cause root exposure. The root surface is not covered by enamel and is softer which makes root surfaces more prone to decay.
Many mainstream medications and radiation treatment to the head and neck can cause xerostomia (dry mouth). Without the natural buffering qualities of saliva, teeth can decay quickly to the point of being unsalvageable.
Here at Cosmetic Dentistry of San Antonio we can perform a Caries Risk Assessment. This includes such things as assessing diet and medications to help determine your risk for developing decay. If you are identified as being at risk we can work with you to help reduce your risk. Such things as prescription strength products applied with custom fitted trays, dietary counseling, oral pro-biotics or products designed to enhance salivary flow can help reduce caries risk. Spry brand gum and mints for example, contain a therapeutic amount of xylitol. Xylitol is a special sugar that actually helps decrease the number of bacteria in the mouth that contribute to tooth decay.
We now know it is possible to keep your teeth for a lifetime. People who keep their teeth live on an average of 7-10 years longer than people who are edentulous. Taking care of your teeth is the easy way to extend your lifespan significantly. Getting your teeth cleaned and checked twice a year and getting problems handled when they are small, will save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Now that is something to smile about!