A lot of people think that tooth loss is unavoidable as people age. However, this isn’t always the case. While you may lose a tooth when you reach your senior years, it can be prevented. Sure, your teeth will change in some ways as you get older. Understanding such changes can let you take steps to protect your teeth and avoid tooth loss as you age. Visiting a dentist in Berkeley, CA at least twice every year can help you avoid more complicated dental issues. Keep reading to know how your teeth will change with age and what you can do to make sure you always wear a healthy and beautiful smile.
What Changes Occur in Your Mouth When You Age
Over time, your teeth endure lots of wear and tear. For instance, think of the impacts of a lifetime of teeth grinding. Even everyday chewing can wear your teeth down slowly. Also, your teeth can experience discoloration as your enamel wears away and exposes the natural yellow dentin.
Moreover, as you age, you may also lose bones and muscles. Bone and muscle loss in the face and jaw areas can lead to gum recession. Serious gum recession can result in your teeth becoming loose and falling out.
A lot of seniors have maintenance drugs, especially for high blood pressure and heart disease. Such medications can compromise your oral health. They often lead to a dry mouth. Because saliva helps prevent tooth decay, a dry mouth has negative effects on your oral health.
How to Reduce the Effects of Aging
Some changes that occur with age cannot be avoided. However, others can be prevented, or the effects of aging on your teeth can be reduced. To minimize the effects, here are steps you can take:
- Go to your dentist regularly. Regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings are key to maintaining good oral health. But seeing your dentist at least twice every year becomes more essential when you age. As elderly adults may not feel issues developing, they need to be regularly checked by their dentist to catch and treat any concerns early.
- Quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes is dangerous to your physical health and oral health. Smoking for years can have adverse effects on your mouth and smile.
- Use an electric toothbrush. As you age, your dexterity reduces. Therefore, you may not be able to brush your teeth as effectively as before. You can fight this by using an electric toothbrush.