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Root Surface Caries

Root Caries

We are Growing Older…

As the population ages—more gracefully than ever, of course—we’re keeping more teeth. Along with wisdom and experience, however, come different health problems. Among them, cavities on the surface of the tooth root, what we call root caries.

Growing up, most decay is found on the surface of teeth, usually the crown. But gum tissue has a way of receding as the years go by, and this exposes the root to bacteria that cause decay. Periodontal (gum) disease worsens the situation, as do some chronic systemic illnesses.

Nearly 70% of us over 60 suffer root surface caries, more men than women, more smokers.

Sure we’re growing older. But we can look and feel just as fine as we do.

Dentistry is finding new means to prevent and treat this condition, along with the tried and true.

  • More cleaning appointments for plaque removal is one approach. Thorough mechanical cleaning at home, as in brushing, is your personal contribution to prevention.
  • Chlorhexidine is an agent that attacks S. mutants, the meanest microbe in the mouth. Daily rinses with chlorhexidine suppress this bug, with an accompanying reduction in plaque and, it follows, caries (decay).
  • In some cases, sealants—the same material we apply to children’s teeth to stave off decay—can control root caries. Bonding is another option, with the added benefit of cosmetic correction.

About Alan Limbird, DDS

Dr. Alan Limbird graduated from the University of California, San Francisco in 1983, in the top 10% of his class. He immediately entered into a residency at Loma Linda University in General Dental Practice. After completing his residency in 1984, he joined a dental practice in Ukiah which he owned and operated for 30 years. At Limbird Dentistry, Dr. Limbird offered his patients the highest quality treatment using state of the art dental technology to create beautiful smiles. Dr. Limbird sold his Ukiah practice in November 2014 and continues to work part-time with the new owners. In April 2017, Dr. Limbird joined Dr. James Hooper’s thriving dental practice in Fort Bragg. Dr. Limbird is excited to be offering dental services to his new patients on the coast. With the new Solea Dental Laser, he can offer an even higher level of care and technology than ever before. Dr. Limbird strives to stay on the cutting edge of dental technology. While working part-time for two years, he filled his free time by attending many dental education courses to fine tune his skills and learn new ones. Recent courses include: Oral Surgery, extractions, bone grafting, implant placement, implant restoration and extensive training with Dental Lasers. These skills will be put to good use in his Fort Bragg office since there are no dental specialists in the area. Dr. Limbird has been using Dental Lasers for over 20 years. Lasers have helped him to provide a higher level of service and excellence to his patients than was previously possible. His most recent technology purchase is the new Solea Carbon Dioxide Dental Laser. With this new laser, Dr. Limbird can prepare and place nearly all of your fillings comfortably and efficiently with NO SHOTS and NO PAIN! No longer do our patients need to fear going to the dentist. Dr. Limbird also has extensive training in Cosmetic Dentistry. He works with only the best dental laboratories and uses the highest quality materials to give you the best smile possible! Dr. Limbird and his wife, Laura, have always loved spending time on the Mendocino Coast. They now live in Mendocino full time and are pleased to be a part of the coastal community.

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