Everything changes with age. Some things improve, like wine and cheese, while other things start to weaken, such as a piece of fruit. Unfortunately, the teeth also become more fragile and susceptible to disrepair as they get older. It is true: there are effects of aging on the teeth.
Aging is natural, healthy, and inevitable. Growing older doesn’t mean you are doomed to have more oral health problems, but it does mean that you are more susceptible to them.
Our dentist Riverside experts can shed some new light on what it’s like to have old teeth. Stay aware of the following effects of aging on the teeth, and keep in touch with your local dental professional so you can avoid any major health issues down the line.
Why Aging Affects the Teeth
What about aging makes us more susceptible to different oral health issues? As our bodies age, our cells start to grow and renew at a much slower rate than they used to. Also, our skin starts to stretch, and tissues are less elastic, making it harder for our bodies to remain firm and secure against outside harm.
Our bones weaken as we grow older, lacking in the density and strength that they once had. Coupled with a dwindling immune system, it is easy to see how aging leaves us vulnerable to many new ailments and dangers.
Effects of Aging on the Teeth: Gum Disease
The older you get, the more likely you are to lose your teeth. Why? Well, one of the biggest reasons is because of gum disease. Also called periodontitis or periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria and other harmful substances around the gums.
Smoking, drinking, and not keeping up with daily oral hygiene can contribute to the risk for gum disease. It can be treated, and many of the symptoms reversed, but the longer you wait to get care, the more destructive this disease can be.
Effects of Aging on the Teeth: Infections
As you age, you are more likely to get infections. This is for many reasons, but one of the most interesting reasons is that you lose saliva as you age. This is exacerbated by the medicine you are taking. Many prescription drugs can cause dry mouth, which reduces the amount of saliva your mouth naturally produces.
Saliva is needed for washing away particles and bacteria that build upon the teeth. The more these foreign substances build up, the more likely they are to cause an infection.
As you get older, you are more susceptible to infections in the:
These infections can be caused by bacteria building up in the mouth. If left unattended, the infection can get into your bloodstream, which has devastating health effects on your entire body. Make sure that you reach out to your local dentist if you feel pain, soreness, redness, or inflammation in the mouth.
Worn Tooth Enamel
Enamel is a thin protective layer on the surface of your tooth. The enamel protects the teeth from the elements, and it is important for keeping the structure of your tooth intact.
Unfortunately, enamel can naturally wear down as you age, so it is important to invest in treatments and products that can keep the teeth strong. Without enamel, it is too easy to damage the tooth. An enamel-strengthening toothpaste might be a good place to start.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy for a Long Life of Smiles!
There are more and more things you need to be aware of as you age. As your physical health starts to deteriorate, one of the first parts of your body you should start paying attention to is your teeth. As a doorway to bacteria and infection, the teeth must be maintained regularly.
If you have lost teeth due to infection, gum disease, or other ailments, reach out to our dental experts to get the best repair for your mouth. Our dentures specialist Riverside can provide you with options to restore your mouth back to normal, helping you look and feel good again. Avoid the effects of aging by staying on top of your dental health!