Perhaps you have had excellent brushing and flossing habits throughout your life. Still, despite your best efforts, the passage of time may have brought some significant oral health issues. That’s completely normal — but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to fragile teeth and a dim smile. In this post, a dentist in Boca Raton discusses how age can affect your oral health and what you can do to gain a stronger, more youthful smile.
Wear and Tear
Human teeth are incredibly strong, and dental enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. As sturdy as teeth are, however, they do wear down after decade upon decade of use. The enamel may grow quite thin, leading to significant dental sensitivity. Your teeth may even be more prone to breakage.
Medications and Health Conditions
Your overall health can have a significant impact on your oral health. For example, changes in bone density can affect you teeth’s base of support. A weakening immune system may make you more vulnerable to oral infections, such as gum disease. Arthritis might make it difficult for you to brush and floss as thoroughly as you should.
Medications can also affect oral health. For example, some of them cause dry mouth, which is a big risk factor for cavities. Other medications have been associated with nighttime teeth grinding, which can speed up wear and tear on the enamel. Some drugs may even cause teeth to incur significant stains.
It is common for the gums to recede with age. As they slowly shrink away, they expose the roots of the teeth. Since the tooth roots do not have any enamel to protect them, they are quite sensitive. They are also more likely to develop cavities than the upper portion of teeth.
What You Can Do
While the above information might seem a little frightening, there are things you can do to stop the clock on your smile’s aging — or perhaps even turn back time. Regaining optimal oral health begins with a visit to an experienced dentist. They’ll talk to you about your habits, your overall health, and any medications you take. Then, after a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, they’ll design a treatment plan to restore your smile’s function and appearance. Some treatments that may benefit you include:
- Crowns to restore the look and strength of damaged, worn teeth
- Porcelain veneers to disguise broken or badly discolored teeth
- Periodontal therapy to fight infection in the gum tissue
- Bridges or dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Coaching on how to care for your teeth and gums at home
Aging can have some serious consequences for your teeth and gums, but thanks to your dentist, you can fight the tide of time and enjoy a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile!
About the Author
Dr. Steven Feit is a general dentist and prosthodontist in Boca Raton. He earned his DMD from New Jersey Dental School, and he completed his CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) in Prosthodontics at the Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry at Boston University.He has more than 30 years of experience in helping seniors to enjoy confident, strong, and youthful smiles. If you would like to speak to Dr. Feit to learn how he may be able to assist you or a loved one to achieve improved oral health, contact our office at 561-338-7535.