Will Aging Affect Your Dental Health?

Everyone wants to have good dental health as they age. With age comes wisdom....and aging. Our bodies change day by day, and our mouths are no exception. We often ask ourselves: What happens to our teeth when we age? Is it inevitable to have dental problems? Should we be worried?

The good news is that there are steps that we can take starting now to keep our mouths and teeth healthy over the years. The first step is learning what dental changes to expect as we age. The second is knowing how to prevent any changes that can be avoided. There are a few developments patients should expect as they get older.

How age affects dental health

1. Yellowing teeth

This happens when dentin (the softer, inner part of the tooth) starts to turn yellow. The yellow becomes all the more noticeable thanks to thinning enamel that makes the dentin even more visible. Coffee and cigarette stains also cause tooth discoloration.

To minimize tooth discoloration, maintain a thick layer of enamel by consuming a calcium-rich diet from an early age. There are over-the-counter products that help to whiten teeth, but since some of these cause tooth sensitivity, it is always a good idea to get input from a dentist before trying to whiten teeth. Professional whitening treatments are more effective anyway.

2. Tooth loss

Weak, receding gums and a worn out jawbone are the leading causes of tooth loss in older adults. The good news is that this particular cause of tooth loss is completely preventable. That is right. Teeth actually do not have to fall out. Notice how skeletons have their teeth even after decades or centuries of being dead?

A person simply needs to avoid oral diseases that destroy the gum and jaw. This is easily done with the lifelong practice of good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments. Easy.

3. Increased spacing between teeth

From age 50 onwards, there may be noticeable thinning of the enamel at the sides of the teeth. This sometimes results in gaps between the teeth where there were none before. The thinning happens because of aging and sustained exposure of enamel to acidic substances like fizzy drinks and sugars. To keep enamel from eroding with age, all that is needed is a calcium-rich diet and good oral habits.

4. Oral health complications caused by medication

For many people, medication becomes a fact of life in old age. A side effect of many medications is dry mouth. When the mouth lacks enough saliva to clean the teeth, the chances of developing cavities and gum disease increase. One way to deal with dry mouth is to constantly drink water. When possible, have the offending medication replaced with a gentler alternative.

5. Receding gums and long tooth syndrome

Loss of bone and muscle in the face and jaw can lead to receding gums. In severe cases, the teeth become loose and eventually fall out. In most cases, receding gums simply lead to more exposure of the teeth. Usually, it is the lower teeth that become longer. The resulting look of 'shorter' upper teeth and longer lower teeth is called long tooth syndrome.

Slowing down bone and muscle loss throughout the body is the only way to mitigate long tooth syndrome. Again, calcium, vitamins and minerals are key.

Lifestyle makes all the difference

Often, good health in old age is a return on earlier investments. We invest by taking good care of our bodies and teeth from a young age. As far as investments go, healthy living costs little. If we take care of our teeth, they can last a lifetime.

Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists to learn more about how aging affects your teeth.

Here's what you need…

Request an appointment in our Tempe dentist office here: https://www.smtfamilydental.com.

Recent Posts

Don't Let Dental Infection Spread To Other Teeth

You need to keep up the oral hygiene basics, which will keep your teeth healthy and prevent infection.Taking care of your teeth requires more than receiving a dental cleaning at least once every six months. It is crucial to keep regular oral hygiene routines at home with brushing twice a day and flossing once a…

Flossing Needs To Be A Regular Routine

Floss before brushing to remove food from places that the bristles never reach and prevent plaque from forming.When it comes to cleaning the teeth, most people may not realize that there is an order you need to follow. In fact, many people aren't aware of the crucial oral hygiene basics that can help your teeth…

Here’s A Quick Way Dentists Get Rid Of Bad Breath

There is a common misconception that dentists go to great lengths to prevent and eliminate bad breath.  The truth is dentists rely on quick and easy methods to combat halitosis just like everyone else. The question is what these oral health experts are doing differently than the rest of us to keep halitosis at bay.…

How Do You Get A Popcorn Kernel Out Of Your Gums?

Puffy popcorn kernels are unprocessed grains with fiber and antioxidants that have the potential to become lodged in the gums.  The texture of popped popcorn makes it awfully easy for small bits of to become lodged in the gums. Popcorn stuck in the gums can prove quite annoying if not painful.You can try to pick…

Recent Posts

We Can Help Repair Your Smile

We Can Help Repair Your Smile

You don't need to live with embarrassment over your teeth thanks to our dental work. Call now.When it comes to a smile, there are certain aspects that brushing and flossing can't change. While proper oral hygiene is essential for one's health, cosmetic dental care offers a variety of procedures to enhance the appearance of one's…

A Clear Solution To Straightening Teeth

A Clear Solution To Straightening Teeth

If you are interested in Invisalign, give us a call and search for reviews from other patients about Invisalign.If you're looking for a clear alternative to straightening your teeth besides traditional braces, then consider Invisalign®. You can achieve the straight set of teeth your smile needs with a more discreet treatment process.Invisalign uses a series…