As we get older, our bodies change. This includes our teeth and gums. Wear and tear, staining, damage, and gum disease can all take their toll even after a lifetime of careful oral hygiene. Make sure your oral hygiene habits remain diligent and visit your dentist regularly to address the natural issues related to aging, including any mobility issues that might make it more difficult to care for your teeth.
Why Do Our Teeth Change As We Age?
Just like the rest of our bodies, our teeth suffer from wear and tear over time. We inflict a great deal of stress on our teeth in the course of eating, as we bite into food and grind it between our molars. The points of molars can wear down and edges of incisors can flake or chip. Tooth enamel becomes thinner and our teeth begin to appear darker as the dentin beneath starts to show through more readily.
If you take diligent care of your teeth, these changes will occur more slowly and be less noticeable. However, if you grind your teeth or don’t keep them clean to prevent cavities, serious problems can develop over time. In addition, lack of proper dental care can lead to issues with the gums. Gum inflammation and eventual infection leads to gum recession, reducing the natural support of the tooth roots. Eventually, teeth can fall out if the gums aren’t treated by a periodontist.
Preventing Severe Dental Issues
It’s just as important to take care of your teeth as you get older as it is to care for them while you’re young, if not more so. Unfortunately, it can also be more difficult to practice good oral hygiene as you age. Mobility issues such as arthritis can stiffen the hands and fingers, making it more difficult to maneuver a toothbrush and dental floss.
Your dentist can help you overcome these issues. If you’re finding it difficult to brush thoroughly or to apply sufficient pressure, ask about special tools that can make it easier for you, such as specially made toothbrushes and floss holders. With your dentist’s help, you can be sure you keep your teeth well into your old age.
Our team is ready to help your oral health, so call us today to schedule an appointment!