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Gum disease and receding gums can mean loose teeth, bad breath and a host of other health issues. One of the dangers of receding gums is that of root decay.

Tooth decay starts when the plaque on your teeth react with the sugar in your food to create acids that attack the enamel on your teeth. The enamel on your tooth is the hardest substance in your body and it may take a while before you notice the decay, but if it is left untreated, it will eventually work its way through your entire tooth.

If the root of your tooth is exposed to gum disease or by a recession caused by age, it becomes vulnerable to tooth decay. Your roots are only protected by a substance called cementum, which is not as strong as enamel. This allows the decay to spread very quickly through the tooth. Not only will this increase your risk of an infected tooth, which will require a root canal, but it will also be very painful.

Preventing root decay starts with brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once a day. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, or if they are swollen, red or tender, you should talk to your dentist about having an examination for gum disease.

As soon as you notice any pain in your teeth or mouth, you should make an appointment to have the problem checked. Visiting your dentist for your routine cleanings and exams will give him the chance to remove the plaque and tartar you may have missed while brushing, and to check for signs of gum disease and tooth decay. If you would like to make an appointment to see our dentist, Dr. Henry Espinosa at the office of Dr. Henry Espinosa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, call 505-888-1116 today.