We all know that our bodies change as we age, but have you ever wondered how exactly our mouth changes as we get older? As dental professionals, we can’t help but think about it! Here are some important ways that our teeth and gums change as we grow older.
- Shrinking Nerves
- Gum Disease
- Under Pressure!
The nerves in your teeth shrink as a natural part of aging, but it can carry with it certain risks. Smaller nerves mean less sensitive teeth. You’re less likely to feel pain, so small problems can fester until they develop into bigger problems. It’s easier to damage your teeth if you can’t feel them as well.
Your risk for gum disease gets worse as you grow older. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately half of adults have some form of gum disease, and that number increases to 70% for those over 65 year of age. As you get older, it’s increasingly important for you and your dentist to pay close attention to the state of your gums. The earlier gum disease is caught, the better it can be managed.
Most of us struggle with cavities at some point in our lives. But did you know that cavities can actually be linked to certain medications, many of which are commonly taken by older folks? Many medications include dry mouth as a side effect, and when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva that makes it easier for bacteria to grow in your mouth and for your teeth to decay.
As we get older, our enamel can thin out. Since the lower teeth are already thinner, this makes them more vulnerable to wearing out and shifting out of place with the pressure from biting down with the upper teeth. Another risk that comes with age is bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding. If left untreated it can make your teeth crack under pressure, so it’s important to wear a nightguard to protect your oral health.
We Accept Patients of All Ages!
We can’t stop the aging process, but we can take good care of our teeth so that if any of these changes occur, they are mitigated. Remember, the best plan of attack is prevention! At Today’s Dental, we offer a full suite of dental services so we can create a personalized treatment plan for you, whatever your age.