Getting older is sometimes a tough pill to swallow. But, it’s a fact of life. All of us age. And, guess what? So do our mouths and teeth.
Even if you take great care of your teeth, they – along with your gums – will undergo certain changes as you age.
What to Look For as You Get Older
Tooth changes may be the first thing people see as they age. For instance, they may notice that their teeth look darker. This is because aging dentin – the tooth’s middle layer – holds stains easier.
Many older people have more plaque buildup on their teeth as well. This is not because of age, rather their physical inability to thoroughly take care of their teeth. For example, people with arthritis or neurological problems may not be able to clean their teeth as well.
You can also expect changes to your gums. They will naturally recede over time, leaving the roots of your teeth exposed and ultra-sensitive. Fluoride rinses can decrease this sensitivity and prevent decay on the roots.
Older people may also be prone to dry mouth – which can be a side effect of medicine. Saliva normally washes away bits of food and bacterial which help keep your mouth clean. If you have dry mouth, however, the bacteria and food will stick around longer, causing decay and bad breath.
Routine Dental Care
While these signs of aging in your mouth and teeth may be alarming to read, they are normal and can be kept in check with properroutine dental care – which should include bi-annual visits to my office.
If you’re not happy with the way your teeth look – or feel – talk to me about it as soon as possible. There are affordable teeth whitening options or teeth restoration treatments that will help you feel better about yourself – and your smile – again.