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Age Increases Vulnerability to Gumline Cavities

As we get older, we’re more susceptible to cavities near the gumline—and controlling them often requires more than just standard fillings, according to a recent article in  

“When a cavity develops on the chewing surface of your teeth, a filling often takes care of the problem. But a gumline cavity is a little more complicated. If the decay has gone down beyond the gumline and reached the root of the tooth, you may need more extensive treatment. When decay reaches the pulp, or the center, of the tooth, your dentist may need to perform a root canal. This involves cleaning out the pulp, including all the pathways, then disinfecting the whole area and sealing it up. Some people may also need a crown afterward to shore up a fragile tooth. . . . The teeth in the back of your mouth that are used for chewing are more likely to require a crown after a root canal.”

Dry mouth and receding gums often leave older people vulnerable to gumline cavities, the article states. Symptoms of a cavity include tooth pain; sensitivity to temperature and sweets; and visible stains, pits or holes. The best preventive oral regimen includes twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and twice-yearly dental checkups.

Information sourced by Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, owner of Cariodontal, located at 310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck, NY (516-282-0310 /, and Manhattan Oasis Dentistry, 525 West End Ave., Ste. 1G, New York, NY (212-874-2880 /


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