Your mind may be young, but as you age your body inevitably starts to betray you. Unfortunately, your teeth are included in these physical changes. Most of the shifts in oral health happen over time, but some can occur overnight and leave you in pain and wondering what dental solution is best. Here are three ways your teeth might change as you age.
1. Teeth Are More Prone to Cracks, Chips, and Breaks
Teeth can be damaged at any age. Bite down wrong on a piece of hard candy and you can chip or break a tooth. Forget your mouthguard in junior varsity football and you can fracture a tooth. But the reality is that teeth become progressively weaker the older you get, and that means cracks can become more visible and lead to greater damage and dental problems. Even the smallest fissures in your enamel create an opening for bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even periodontal disease. Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry solutions like porcelain veneers, Cerinate Lumineers, and dental crowns and bridges are viable options for making repairs.
2. Tooth Decay is More Likely
There are varying levels of severity when it comes to gum disease. Whether you’re suffering with gingivitis or periodontitis, plaque is typically the root of these evils. Age, however, offers its own unique contributions. Illnesses like cancer can interfere with your immune system, and diabetes puts people at a higher risk of developing infections. Certain medications can decrease saliva, leading to dry mouth and a breeding ground for bacteria. Hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause can cause gum sensitivity, making it easier for gingivitis to develop.
It’s critical to keep up with preventive dental care so that your dentist can keep an eye on your oral health and take care of any signs of gum disease before it has a chance to settle in and fester. If you’re at the point where you have bleeding gums and loose teeth, it may be necessary to opt for dental implants to replace missing teeth and rebuild the foundation of your mouth.
3. Stress Can Lead to Teeth-Grinding
Clenching and grinding your teeth can begin at an early age, but with all the life stresses that come our way as we age, it should come as no surprise that the side effects of this dental stress grow. Signs of stress in your jaw and mouth can wreak havoc on your overall oral health, causing worn teeth, chipped teeth, fractured teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, headaches, and facial pain. A tension suppression system worn while sleeping at night can prevent unconscious teeth grinding, reducing all the nasty side effects of this habit. But if you’ve been clenching your teeth for a while, some damage may have already been done, in which case cosmetic dentistry solutions like porcelain veneers may be necessary to correct the aesthetics of your teeth.
Make your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka at Philadelphia Dentistry to discuss your oral health concerns. Make your oral health a priority before age does a number on your teeth and smile.