Aging is an irreversible process and as your body ages, so do your teeth. Understanding the effects of aging on your teeth can help you uphold proper dental hygiene and maintain your teeth’ physical appearance. In this article, we will discuss the effects of aging on teeth and provide helpful tips on how you can prevent age-related dental problems.
How Does Tooth Loss Affect Your Health and Quality of Life?
Older adults who retain their natural teeth have a better quality of life. Contrarily, older adults with fewer teeth have a reduced quality of life, which impacts their health in various ways.
For starters, older adults with fewer teeth are less likely to eat diverse diets. Research shows that as we lose our teeth, we progressively alter our food choices. We refrain from eating foods that are harder to chew such as red meats, nuts, and vegetables, which are rich in protein
Secondly, individuals with fewer teeth caused by poor oral health find it difficult to talk to people due to self-esteem issues and eat in public or groups. In turn, food choices become limited and overall health dwindles.
Finally, individuals with fewer teeth favor softer and processed foods. Softer foods such as Yogurt or applesauce may not add nutritional value to the body. Additionally, processed foods are higher in cholesterol, which can cause health problems such as clogged arteries or heart disease.
Preserving your teeth into old age keeps your body healthy and improves your quality of life. If you need help improving your dental health, Chalet Dental Care has got you covered. We offer a full range of dentistry services for adults and provide routine and specialized dental care to address your dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Why Is It Important To Take Care Of Your Teeth As You Age?
Taking care of the aging mouth is vitally important. Doing so can help you prevent dental problems such as:
Wear and Tear: The tooth enamel is the toughest surface in the human body; however, various conditions can tear teeth. Years of grinding, gnawing, and crushing erode the outer layer of the tooth enamel and blunts the biting edges. Eating acidic foods such as carbonated beverages and citrus fruits can also affect the tooth surface and dissolve the protective enamel.
Gum Disease: Serious cases of gum disease are prevalent among the older population. Gum disease occurs due to prolonged buildup of plaque, which can result in the swelling and bleeding of the gums.
Dry Mouth: As individuals age, they usually start taking more medications to manage age-related conditions. Dry mouth is a side effect of many medications and it prevents the salivary glands from producing enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.
Dry mouth creates an environment in which bacteria can thrive: bacteria flourish and multiply rapidly in a dry mouth. When bacteria are introduced to a dry mouth, the build-up of bacteria can increase your chances of developing tooth decay and gingivitis. It also leaves you more prone to mouth infections such as periodontal disease.
Saliva keeps the teeth and gums healthy and washes away excess bacteria. It also protects the teeth from decay and helps your gums stay healthy. Saliva is the body’s natural defense against dry mouth; therefore, keeping your mouth hydrated is essential to avoiding these issues.
Aging Teeth and Full Body Health: Gum health is connected to the health of the rest of the body. If left untreated, gingivitis can result in more severe periodontal disease, which has been linked to other health problems such as stroke. Research shows that there is a link between gum inflammation and diabetes. Individuals with diabetes, who also suffer from gum disease, find it difficult to control blood sugar levels. As you age, you need to have good oral health as this will keep your teeth and gums healthy for the rest of your lifetime.
Strong teeth make a healthy mouth; however, they cannot perform without sturdy gums and soft, wet tissue that line the oral cavity. At Chalet Dental Care, we provide a wide range of important dental services designed to meet the varying needs of our patients. Our caring dentists ensure that each patient achieves healthy teeth and strong gums and provides preventative treatments to help you stay ahead of problems and maintain a healthy smile.
Do Teeth Wear Down With Age?
As you age, your tooth enamel will naturally wear down. For example, at the age of thirty, most adults will have lost almost a millimeter from their incisors. Unfortunately, many seniors are experiencing excessive wear and tear, which can lead to problems ranging from tooth sensitivity to an unattractive smile. If you have excessively worn teeth, you should contact our clinic, and one of our dentists will guide you on how you can prevent further damage and recommend effective treatments.
What Are Some Ways You Can Prevent Tooth Loss As An Older Person?
As an older person, you can prevent the loss of your teeth in the following ways:
- Avoid Opening Food Packages Or Bottles With Your Teeth And Chewing On Ice as these can facilitate the wear and tear of your teeth: Such force can result in microfractures in the tooth enamel. The enamel protects your teeth, keeps them strong, and prevents bacteria build-up, which can lead to tooth decay and other health problems. With time, decay and abrasion dissolve the enamel, which is a normal part of the aging process; however, if you put unnecessary force on your teeth, you facilitate this process. You can also avoid getting metal tongue piercings as they cause receding gums and chipped teeth.
- Take Measures to Curb the Development of Cavity: Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly can help prevent cavities. If you cannot brush or floss by hand because of disabilities, we recommend switching to an electric toothbrush. Fluoride found in mouth rinses, toothpaste, and tap water in some areas enables the body to rebuild the mineral crystals that form the tooth enamel and prevent the build-up of bacteria.
- Maintain A Proper Oral Care Routine: You need to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, use mouthwash to lift any food particles, and floss daily. Take time to maintain your teeth and gums. Brush all corners of your mouth, brush up to the gum line and behind the teeth, and brush right up to the back of your mouth. With proper hygiene, you do not have to worry about your gums aging.
- Know the Signs: Receding gums, bleeding gums when brushing, bad breath, and loose teeth are all symptoms of gum disease. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, you need to contact a dentist. A dentist will diagnose you and establish a treatment plan for your symptoms.
- Be Aware of Your Risk Factors: Various factors can affect your chances of getting gum disease. Understanding uncontrollable factors, such as genetics and age, will motivate you to uphold proper oral health. Quitting harmful habits such as chewing tobacco and smoking can reduce your chances of acquiring gum disease and oral cancer.
- Moisten Your Mouth: Hydrating can prevent dry mouth. You can moisten your mouth by sucking on sugarless candies or chewing sugarless candies. You can also drink more water and try holding the water in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow.
Keeping up with your oral health can prevent the loss of teeth. However, you need routine dental checkups to check whether your gum tissue is in perfect condition, cavities are forming, or whether aging is causing oral cancer. Our dentists can conduct routine checkups and provide treatment options that will get you started on a journey toward healthy teeth.
Take Care of Your Teeth, Contact the Trusted Dental Clinic in St. Paul
At Chalet Dental Care, we understand that dental care can be costly, which is why with us, you do not have to stretch your wallet to access high-quality dental care. Our entire team is committed to providing you with the best dental care possible and addressing the effects of a lifetime of chewing, crushing, and grinding on your teeth. We also understand that apart from aging, various factors can cause you to lose your teeth, which is why we offer full and partial dentures to help against muscle lag and improve patients’ smiles. Schedule an appointment today. We serve the residents of Little Canada, Highland Park, Como Park, St. Louis, and surrounding St. Paul communities.