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Cavities—the breakdown of enamel caused by plaque—are most common among children, but the physical changes that occur with aging make cavities a large problem for adults as well. If you’re well into your adult years, your teeth may be highly vulnerable to cavities.

As you get older, the protective enamel layer on your teeth weakens, exposing the soft dentin underneath and paving the way for plaque to attack your teeth. Your gums also start to recede, pulling away from the roots of your teeth. Roots are coated in cementum, a soft tissue that is more susceptible to heat, cold and bacteria. It’s not uncommon for people over the age of 50 to experience tooth root decay.

Depending on your age, you may have lived in a time before fluoride and modern dental care, which means your teeth lack the protection that younger generations enjoy. If you have a large number of dental fillings, make sure they are still strong and properly in place. Over time, dental fillings may weaken, leak around the edges or even fracture. The deterioration of your fillings leaves gaps and crevices for bacteria and acid to accumulate, leading to tooth decay.

Steven Rattner DDS offers regular dental checkups so that you never have to worry about the state of your teeth and fillings. If you think you may have a cavity, or if you haven’t had a checkup in over six months, call our College Park, MD location at (301) 474-8277 or our Gaithersburg, MD location at (301) 987-5527 to schedule an appointment.