Our body’s natural aging process is inevitable. The years take a toll on our bones, skin and organs. Your teeth are no different. Since we use our teeth on a daily basis, it is not surprising that over time we will begin to face a variety of dental concerns. When it comes to your aging smile, you can expect to address the following with your dentist:
- Acid Erosion
- Years of sugary foods and drinks, such as candy, soda and sports drinks, can begin to erode the enamel of your teeth. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to pits of decay, sensitivity and other dental problems.
- Mechanical Wear
- Considering how much we chew, chomp and bite on a daily basis, it is safe to assume that our teeth will begin to show some wear and tear over time. Older adults also run the risk of damaging tooth restorations such as crowns or bridges.
- Your teeth may begin to yellow as you age, primarily due to the fact that your enamel thins out and reveals the yellow dentin layer of your tooth more easily. In addition, years of smoking and consuming dark-colored beverages and foods can cause noticeable staining. Ask your dentist about teeth whitening, a safe and painless procedure for patients of all ages.
- Gum Problems
- The risk of gum problems increases with age, especially as pockets form at the gum line where bacteria can grow. If you ignore gum disease, the bacterial infection can damage tissues and bone, eventually leading to tooth loss.
- Dry Mouth
- Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a condition that many older adults face. It can drastically increase the risk of decay and gum problems. While our saliva production does not decrease as we age, there are numerous medications often taken by older patients that can cause dry mouth.
It is important to realize that by maintaining a diligent hygiene routine, seeing your dentist on a regular basis and watching your diet, you can significantly reduce the impact that aging has on your smile. Taking care of your teeth and gums now can mean a healthier, more attractive smile as you get older.