Teeth – Growing older is an unavoidable aspect of life, and as we get older, our bodies change in terms of appearance and condition. Our mouths and teeth are no exception to this, and as we grow older, we become more susceptible to more significant oral problems such as higher rates of gum disease, dental decay, oral cancer, mouth infections, and tooth loss. The public of Australia is no exception to this, as it’s considered that sections of the community with the most rapidly changing dental needs are those aged sixty-five years. Therefore, in order to prevent this, it’s more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene and schedule regular dental appointments.
In this post, we explain some of the changes you may experience with your mouth and teeth as you get older and what you can do to keep them healthy. Keep reading on to find out more.
Discolouration/General Wear and Tear
Teeth are one of the most substantial parts of the human body, and tooth enamel is the hardest substance; however, this doesn’t mean that they’re indestructible. Your teeth have spent a lifetime crunching, gnawing, and grinding, which over time wears away the outer layer of enamel and flattens the biting edges. The surface of your teeth can also be affected by exposure to acidic foods or other substances such as citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, or tobacco, which dissolves the protective enamel and causes discolouration. Damaged enamel can lead to more serious dental problems, and since the nerves within your teeth lose sensitivity with age, the problem may be well advanced before you notice any pain.
While there’s not much you can do to prevent the natural deterioration of a tooth’s surface, the importance of brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings at the dentist remains the same at any age. Fluoride, found in toothpaste, mouth rinses, and varnishes applied by a dentist, can help the body in various ways, such as rebuilding the mineral crystals that make up tooth enamel, preventing plaque build-up. In some cases, it may reverse the damage or halt the progression of root decay. You can discuss this with your dentist, or if you’ve recently moved and are looking for a Brisbane based dentist, you can find more details by clicking the link mentioned earlier. You can also find tons of different information about treatments relating to changing teeth and even book online.
Shifting and Missing Teeth
As the human body gets older, the greater the exposure to tooth and gum problems becomes, and the risk is that if it isn’t treated, you could end up with missing teeth. Furthermore, as the body ages, the support structures in your mouth that keep your teeth in place can weaken over time, which can cause your teeth to migrate/shift or lead to potentially worse problems such as overcrowding or hollowness to the mouth. Problems such as gum disease and loss of bone mass can be another factor as to why your teeth may shift over time. Ultimately a little bit of shifting is entirely normal; however, if you continue to have regular hygiene checks with your dentist, this will prevent causing more severe problems as you age.
In addition to diminishing the appearance and condition of our bodies, age can also cause our oral health to be affected by biomedical risks accumulated over a lifetime. Many of which introduce a myriad of different medications to combat them, many of which can harm your oral health. Hundreds of drugs list dry mouth as a side effect that isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also cause issues with eating and swallowing, bad breath, and irritation and infection of oral tissues. It also raises your risk for gum disease and tooth decay; new cavities can begin to form within as little as three months after dry mouth begins.
To combat this, you could try chewing sugarless sweets or gym, or even simply drinking more water can help. Try to limit the consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages as these dry out the mouth. If you’re a smoker, tobacco is also drying, so try to limit or stop your usage of this altogether. If dry mouth is a problem you suffer from, you can also purchase over-the-counter artificial saliva products to combat this. You’ll also need to be especially careful about brushing and flossing with a dry mouth because of the increased vulnerability to cavities.
People of all ages can be prone to sensitivity within their teeth; however, it’s a problem that can get progressively worse as you get older. Sensitivity issues can be painful teeth, bleeding gums, and loose teeth, making daily tasks such as eating and drinking very uncomfortable. To prevent this, you can try using sensitive toothpaste and flossing, as this will reduce plaque build-up, which is known to cause soreness or infections.