Roots-Remineralization Versus Demineralization

Teeth are in a constant struggle between remineralization and demineralization. Demineralization is the process by which cavities begin to form, while remineralization is the repair process. Unfortunately, demineralization occurs much more rapidly than remineralization, with enamel being the most resistant part of the tooth. This means that the root surface, an area especially vulnerable for the elderly is more prone to this problem. Products like fluoride varnishes, rinses, or gels are good products for remineralizing the root surface.  There are also good options for home care in chlorhexadine, xylitol gum, and toothpastes containing calcium and phosphate. Unfortunately these products do not totally prevent root cavities, so the best option is preventing demineralization initially by establishing good home care routines earlier in life before root caries risk is a factor.