Time waits for no one and that includes the health, position, and shape of our teeth! As we age, our teeth experience some changes too. It is important to understand these changes so that we can slow down and prevent the aging process of our teeth.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Do Our Teeth Change As We Age?
Regular visits to your dentist can help prepare your teeth for the natural aging process. While some of the changes are determined by our oral care throughout the years, there are some natural changes that we must adapt to.
The Position of Teeth Changes
As our teeth grow, they develop a semi-permanent form within our mouth. Use of dental and orthodontic appliances can help shape and settle the teeth to a more comfortable fit. This too will change over time as the structure of the mouth and jaw naturally begin to narrow. The teeth can shift due to these natural changes, weakening musculature and bone density, and from the effects of years of chewing. Not all people will require appliances, it depends on the type and extent of movement of your mouth.
Teeth Change Colour
Why do our teeth change colour over the years? Aside from the staining experienced from various foods, beverages, and use of tobacco products, there are natural changes that occur to the appearance of the colouring of our teeth. Under the protective white enamel shield is a layer called dentin. This portion of the tooth is yellow and as the enamel thins, the dentin becomes more evident.
While our enamel is the hardest substance on our bodies, it too can weaken and damage over time. The biggest culprit of enamel loss is grinding. As this and other natural teeth actions occur, it is important to follow proper dental care throughout your lifetime, such as cleaning and flossing your teeth daily and ensuring you visit your dental care provider on a regular basis.
Weakening of Dental Nerves
The dental nerve located in the centre of each tooth gradually becomes smaller over time as we age. While the prospect of reducing the risk of pain with sensitivity and during dental work may be a benefit, it may also cause issues. The weakened dental nerve may not provide a timely alert to when an oral problem arises thereby delaying essential dental work, as when we were younger.
One common issue treated by your dentist is teeth clenching. This and teeth grinding are subconscious acts that can cause serious damage to the enamel and injury to the teeth. In addition to chipping, cracking and breaking the teeth, clenching of the jaw can force shifting of the molars. This can lead to the movement of nearby teeth.
Loss of Jawbone
The natural aging process sees the density of our bone structure decline and become more suspectable to cracks and breaks from low impacts. This holds true with our jawbone as well. Also with the loss of permanent teeth, the jawbone begins to deteriorate as it depends on the chewing and biting motion to maintain its integrity.
Changes in Gums
As with other areas of the oral cavity, our gums naturally become thinner and regress from the teeth over time. As we age, the saliva production declines which can also contribute to the changes within the gumline. Dental conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease can speed up the declining health of the gums.
How to Slow Down Aging of Teeth
Many of us take precautions to help slow down the aging process such as following a healthy diet, maintaining an exercise regime, and taking good care of our skin. Did you know there are also ways to help slow down the aging of our teeth?
More specifically, there are things we can do every day to help prevent or delay our teeth from discolouring, shifting, and even breaking. In addition to regular dentist visits, brushing and flossing, your dentist recommends the following tips:
It should be noted that smoking is not just bad for your lungs and body health generally but can cause serious damage like cancer to your mouth and gums as well as staining your teeth, regardless of what you are smoking (e.g., tobacco or otherwise).
Just as our brain, heart, and other organs needs proper nourishment, our teeth also require a healthy diet for protection. This includes avoiding acidic beverages, sugary snacks, and chomping on hard candy, which can cause cracking of the tooth.
Contrary to public belief, retainers are designed for a reason, to help keep teeth aligned. Many people tend to not continuously use their retainer after having orthodontic work like braces. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of wearing a professional retainer.
Protect Your Teeth With Appliances
If teeth grinding and/or clenching during the day or night seems to be causing the wearing of enamel, use protective appliances. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about having the right type of guard fitted for your mouth.
Don't Use Your Teeth As a Tool
Since a young age, our parents, teachers, and other adult supporters have also said to never use your teeth to open packages or to remove bottle caps. Protect your teeth from cracks, chips, and other damage by only using them to eat (and speak)!
Use Teeth Whitening Products
To reduce the buildup of stains from food, beverages, and medications, use tooth whitening products. Available in a variety of options, choose toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental strips to fit the needs of your lifestyle and preference.
Visit Princeview Dental for Dental Care Treatments in Etobicoke
For regular and emergency dental services in Etobicoke, visit the friendly team at Princeview Dental Group. Our modern professional environment is open to all ages with specific dental care plans tailored for your health and needs.
Our services include professional teeth whitening, restorative dentistry, oral appliance aids, and cosmetic dentistry. Call us at today at (416) 231-4562 for an appointment!