Just like the rest of us, our teeth change with age. As we get older, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly to ensure age-related changes aren’t leading to long-term problems. Our teeth are subjected to high levels of everyday stress, which can lead to damage and other issues.
Your Teeth and the Aging Process
You use your teeth every day to bite and chew. This activities place high levels of stress on the teeth. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is still subject to wear and tear over time. Chewing and biting can eventually cause the enamel to become thinner and to break down. If you have issues with your enamel—for example if it is softer than normal or didn’t develop properly—these problems are made worse.
Under normal conditions, the teeth will become darker over time as the enamel becomes thinner. The dentin beneath, which is softer and darker than enamel, shows through. In addition, teeth can become chipped or cracked from the stress of chewing and biting. This kind of damaged is more likely and usually more severe if you habitually grind your teeth.
Your Gums and the Aging Process
The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. If untreated, gum disease, also called periodontitis, causes the gums to recede and pull back from the tooth roots. The teeth become loose and can eventually fall out. If you have dry mouth—also more common among older adults—this can increase your risk for both gum disease and tooth decay. If you’ve already lost some teeth and have dentures, you’ll still have to practice preventive care by thoroughly cleaning your dentures so bacteria doesn’t collect under them and cause gum disease. Implants must also be cared for diligently to keep gum disease at bay.
Your family dentist can help you ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy well into your old age. Visit the dentist regularly and point out any issues you might have, such as bleeding gums or uncomfortable sensitivity. Practice diligent at-home care, and together you and your dentist can keep your teeth healthy for many years to come.
Call our caring team at Bliss Dental today to set up an appointment to discuss your mouth!