Dental Changes That Occur As You Age And How To Minimize Them

13 January 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

As you get older, your body experiences a lot of changes. Perhaps, one of the most noticeable transformations occurs with your teeth.

With each passing year, your mouth undergoes changes that you may not be aware of. Here are some of the dental changes that you can expect as you age and how to minimize them:

Gum Disease

People who don't take care of their teeth can suffer grave consequences, especially as they get older. Gum disease can quickly progress from gingivitis to periodontitis if effective treatment is not promptly provided. Therefore, you should keep an eye on your gums and notify your dentist right away if you see signs of disease, such as bleeding, discoloration or swelling.

An Increase in Dental Sensitivity

As you get older, you'll become more sensitive to dental stresses, and discomfort may result. For instance, teeth and gums may become more sensitive to extreme variations in temperature. Extremely hot or cold foods, such as soup and ice cream, may not be well tolerated.

Even things like orange juice and soft drinks can cause your mouth to feel irritated. The acids in these drinks can demineralize tooth enamel and make dental nerves more susceptible to inflammation.

In addition, over time, your teeth experience repeated bouts of stress from biting, chewing and being brushed. This is only natural. However,  certain behaviors, such as poor dietary choices, smoking or using a hard-bristled toothbrush  can speed up the breakdown of tooth enamel .

Minimizing Age-Related Problems

Many people run into additional problems as they age, such as brittle teeth, dental discoloration and gum disease. It is critical to continue visiting your dentist every six months for a check-up, x-rays and  a professional cleaning.

It can also be helpful to learn about your family's dental history and whether others in your family have experienced significant oral problems as they got older. Some families have a tendency toward certain oral health issues due to their facial structure and dental spacing.

Chewing sugar-free gum and staying hydrated may also help protect your oral health. As you age, your mouth tends to produce lower levels of saliva, making you more prone to a dry mouth in which plaque can build up and oral bacteria can quickly breed. Chewing gum can stimulate saliva production to ward off dryness, and water can flush away plaque and bacteria as it dilutes acid.

As you grow older, it is imperative to see your dentist regularly. He or she can help you maintain a healthy mouth throughout your lifetime. If you have not had a recent dental appointment, contact a local dental office today.