As we age, everyday wear and tear takes a toll on our teeth and teeth change with age. They may shift in position or change in shape, pull apart, but there’s plenty we can do to keep them in good shape.
Teeth change with age
Top Rated Dentist Brit Phillips Fort Worth shares a few tips to help your smile age gracefully.
Cut Down Wear and Tear
Your teeth are strong, but they can be worn down. All the chewing, grinding, and biting through the years wears away the enamel. It also flattens the parts you use when you bite and chew. You may even notice as you age, the teeth are literally shorter and may shift in position.
You can’t erase a lifetime of wear and tear, without having it restored by a dentist, but you can keep it from getting worse. Don’t chew ice or other hard foods that can cause chips in your enamel and even break your teeth.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Plaque is always forming on your teeth. If you don’t remove it, it can cause soreness, swelling, and bleeding in your gums. It can even cause infection that hurts the bone underneath. We talked about this in detail in a recent blog on Tartar buildup.
Dr. Phillips can treat serious gum disease (periodontitis). If you let gum disease go unchecked, it could harm your gums and bones. If this happens, it may lead to tooth loose or removal. How do you know if you have gum disease? Here are a few indicators of peri0dontitis:
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
Dr. Phillips says that the best way to keep your gums in good shape is to simply take good care of your teeth. Same old rule of thumb we’ve heard for ages – brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings. If you smoke, quit.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
Saliva helps clean teeth and protects your mouth from decay. As you get older, your mouth gets drier and your odds of tooth decay go up. Dry mouth could be caused by certain medications. There are a lot of drugs that cause dry mouth. To fight back, drink more water. Hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow. You can also suck on sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum. If you think drugs are the cause, talk to your doctor about it.
Stop Grinding & Clenching Your Teeth
If you think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, your first and most important step is to see a dentist. Many people grind their teeth at night and may not know it unless their dentist tells them, or they show other signs like a sore jaw, tooth sensitivity, headaches, loose teeth, earaches, and ringing of the ears. Your dentist will help you figure out the probable cause of your bruxism which could by any number of factors including, stress, diet, or misaligned teeth. The dentist can then help you determine an appropriate treatment. Therapies may involve stress management, dental splints, mouth guards, or even more extensive dental procedures. If your dentist recommends a mouth guard or a bite splint, you’ll need to use it exactly as your dentist instructs.
Teeth change with age. It is important to keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible as you age and working with your dentist is an integral part. If you are in the Fort Worth area and are in need of a great dentist, contact Brit Phillips DDS at 817-361-1999.