When we first start out in life, we grow a set of small baby teeth, and then as we age, we lose them to make room for our permanent teeth. But how exactly do our permanent teeth change as we age?
Gravity, grinding, and tea and coffee stains all contribute to changes in our teeth. By the time we reach our late 30s or 40s, we may start to notice a number of conditions affecting our teeth.
Discoloration of teeth
Tea, coffee, and other food and beverages stain your teeth and contribute to their yellowing over time. Also as we age, the dentin in our teeth naturally becomes more yellow. Various whitening techniques, both in our office and to take home, are available if you’d like your teeth to be whiter again.
Although not indestructible, tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body. Your enamel weakens over time as you grind your teeth and chew your food. The likelihood of your teeth cracking or breaking increases over time as you age.
As you age, the nerves in your teeth become smaller. The good news is that it makes you less sensitive to dental pain. Drinking cold beverages and eating cold foods become somewhat easier. On the downside, the reduction of sensitivity may mask cavities and other problems that would normally cause more discomfort. Visiting us regularly to detect problems early becomes more important as you get older.
Narrowing dental arches and shifting teeth
Over time, the muscles in your face begin to droop, which causes changes in the pressure placed on your teeth. This can cause them to shift and become misaligned.
These changes can be viewed as just a part of growing older, but if you want or need to reverse some of this damage, orthodontics help. Talk to us about options available to you.
At any age, taking proper care of your teeth is the best way to minimize changes in your teeth over time. Regular trips to our office and brushing and flossing twice daily will make a significant impact on the health or your teeth throughout your life.
If you’re overdue for a dental cleaning please contact our office and we’ll get you on our schedule as soon as possible.
David S. McGuire, DDS