How Your Teeth Can Change With Age

Elderly,Couple.,Joyful,Nice,Elderly,Couple,Smiling,While,Being,In Age affects every part of the body, including the teeth. When most people consider oral health in their golden years, they think of dentures. However, there are many ways that teeth can change with age, and this does not always have to lead to tooth loss. By understanding the way aging affects your teeth, you can take preventative steps to preserve your smile.

The Basic Anatomy of Your Teeth

Many people mistakenly think teeth are bones. While teeth are strong and hold calcium, they are not bones. They are living structures filled with nerves, blood vessels, and pulp tissue.

On the outside of your teeth, you’ll find enamel, which is actually the hardest material in your body. Enamel acts as a protective layer. Beneath the enamel, you’ll find dentin, which makes up most of your tooth. Inside the dentin, you’ll find the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels.

How Teeth Change as You Grow Older

The most prominent change in aging teeth is the thickening of dentin. This thickening leads to the teeth taking on a more yellow appearance due to the natural translucence of enamel.

The chance of developing tooth decay also increases with age; lifestyle factors and certain medications can contribute to dry mouth with age, which can cause more bacteria to spread in the mouth.

Teeth also become weaker with age; patients who smoke are more likely to have tooth decay and tooth loss. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals four out of 10 older adults who smoke have lost all of their teeth.

Caring For Your Teeth as You Age

By brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, using fluoride toothpaste, and otherwise taking good care of your teeth, you can help ensure that they last. You should also see a dentist regularly and follow their recommendations.

Additional ways to protect your smile with age are:

  • Seeing a dentist more regularly if you notice any changes to your teeth or gums
  • Using a water flosser to thoroughly remove bacteria and plaque
  • Receiving dental implants or other dental prostheses to replace missing teeth

Schedule a Consultation Today

Dr. Louisa I. Gallegos, MSD, believes every patient deserves a beautiful smile. She would be happy to discuss your oral health and dental goals in a consultation. An esteemed prosthodontist, her expertise in restorative dentistry makes her the ideal professional to help patients navigate some of the challenges they may face with their oral health as they age.

To arrange a visit at our dental practice in Denver, CO, please contact our office online or call 303-316-4034.

Louisa Gallegos, DDS, MSD Prosthodontist

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