As we get older, so do our teeth. But exactly how do they age? Here, we’ll explain ways in which your teeth age and how you can work to still keep them in great shape.
Wear & Tear
Though teeth are incredibly strong, years and years of constant wear and tear can weaken them. A lifetime of chewing, biting, grinding, and crunching can cause the hard enamel of your teeth to wear away. These motions also flatten the biting edges of your teeth. The things you consume will also weaken your enamel if they are acidic, such as soda and citrus foods. The weaker your enamel, the more susceptible you are to serious dental health issues such as tooth decay and even the need for a root canal. In fact, people over 65 are three times more likely to need a root canal.
In order to combat wear and tear, it’s important that you wear a night guard if you grind your teeth, and ensure that you have a healthy, low acidic diet that is free of hard foods like candies and that you don’t chew ice.
As we age, gum tissue naturally recedes. When your gums recede, you become more susceptible to developing gum disease because the space between your gums and teeth creates the perfect pocket for bacteria and plaque to build up. If left untreated, your gums and bones could be effected, even leading to the need for tooth removal.
While you might not be able to stop your gums from receding, you can prevent periodontal disease by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy and plaque-free.
Decrease Salivary Flow
As you age, your saliva production decreases. This is most likely from medication, as dry mouth is a side effect of many medications. If ignored, this could cause serious dental health issues because saliva naturally cleans and remineralizes your teeth to wash away any bad bacteria and strengthen your tooth enamel.
Some good ways to encourage saliva flow is by drinking more water and chewing sugarless gum.
If you have any other questions about how your teeth age and how you can combat the aging process, contact us today!Contact Us