As you get older, it becomes harder and harder to maintain a pristine, white smile. This is not because of neglect or laziness, but is a natural result of teeth being used and worn down over time. Here are a few specific problems to watch out for:
- Dry mouth – Dry mouth can be caused by anything from dehydration to smoking to medications. As people age, they end up having to take more medications which can reduce saliva production. If there is not enough saliva in the mouth, the teeth are at high risk for decay. Saliva is extremely important for neutralizing the acids in your mouth and also preventing demineralization of your teeth. If you find yourself noticing that your mouth is on the dry side, try chewing some sugar free gum or drink more water throughout the day.
- Teeth shifting – Over time, teeth naturally continue to move around in your mouth. This is not just a cosmetic issue, but can also make your teeth more difficult to clean as the teeth crowd closer together. When your teeth are misaligned, it can be damaging to the mouth tissues and jawbones, and can lead to tooth loss. If you feel like your teeth have significantly shifted, make an appointment with your dentist to get fitted for retainers, or spacers. If the problem is severe, you may also need to wear braces for a period of time. Also, make sure that you get frequent thorough cleanings to prevent more tooth decay.
- Decay – As you get older, you are more prone to getting cavities and having tooth decay even if you do your best to keep your teeth clean. Your teeth are more worn down in general than when you are younger which puts your teeth at risk. The root of your tooth also softens as you age and can become more exposed. If you are worried about cavities and feel like your teeth are weaker than before, trying using a fluoride rinse when you brush.
If you feel like your teeth are having aging related issues, come to Candlewood Dental Care in New Fairfield, CT. Dr. Lorraine Burio has been treating patients for over twenty-five years and can give you the best treatment to keep your smile white and healthy. Call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.