Root Surface Caries on the Rise

Root surface caries has increased due to the increased retention of teeth during adulthood, thanks to various caries-preventive measures and patients living longer. About one-half of U.S. adults are affected with root surface caries by age 50, with an average of about three lesions by age 70. Fluoride is very effective in preventing root surface caries. A recent systematic review on root surface caries in the Journal of Dental Research indicated the regular use of a 5,000 ppm fluoride dentifrice and quarterly sodium fluoride varnish treatments by a dental professional resulted in a decrease of root surface caries progression and initiation.

Figure 20. Sodium Fluoride Varnish.
Image showing application of a sodium fluoride varnish
Image courtesy of DECS