Getting older not only impacts your skin, joints, and muscles; it also affects your smile! Much like with the rest of your body, aging has an impact on teeth, gums, and oral health. As we get older, taking care of our teeth becomes more and more important. Guilliot Dental understands how aging affects your smile. Through years of experience with cosmetic dentistry in Lafayette, we have helped patients reduce the impacts of aging on their teeth. Learn more about what happens as we get older and how you can keep your mouth healthy for years to come! 

How Your Teeth Change Over Time 

Enamel Deterioration

Getting older means bones and tissues break down faster and cells reproduce slower. This also occurs in your teeth. Tooth enamel begins to deteriorate faster and more frequently. 

Tooth Discoloration
Everybody wants to have a bright, white set of teeth. However, as we age, teeth can begin to discolor. This can be due to breakdowns in the enamel or stains from food. Over time, stains will become harder to remove from teeth and will require additional work from a cosmetic dentist. 

Nerve Function and Loss of Sensitivity 

In addition to enamel deterioration, adults lose sensitivity within their teeth. Nerves shrink over time and send fewer signals to the brain. This can be problematic, as it allows unknown damage to occur within the teeth. Visiting a dentist allows any oral health issue to be caught early.  

Decreased Sense of Taste
Ever wonder why some older people like foods extremely hot? Oftentimes, this is caused by a decreased sense of taste. As people age, taste buds within the mouth do not work as well as they did when they were younger. This can lead to blasting their cup of coffee in the microwave or adding a bit more hot sauce to a dish. Eating extremely hot foods can cause burns or sores in the mouth, so adults need to be careful. 

Development of Xerostomia
Xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth, is a condition where the salivary gland function decreases. With age comes, salivary glands struggle to produce the saliva needed for normal function. This can be due to age or medications that come with age. Lack of sufficient saliva makes eating more difficult, as well as provides an environment for bacteria to grow. Bacterial growth in the mouth as a result of xerostomia can lead to gum disease. 

Gum Disease 

Many factors, including age, can cause gum disease. One of the most common forms of gum disease is periodontal disease. According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults aged 30 and older experience some sort of periodontal disease. The risk of periodontal disease increases as we get older. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. 

Taking Care of Your Mouth as You Age 

As people age, there are several things they can do to keep their mouths healthy. Brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush is a requirement. Floss at least once a day, or any time you eat food that gets stuck in your teeth. Foods that easily get stuck in teeth include chicken wings, popcorn, ribs, and more. Wash your mouth out with warm water several times per day to flush out any lingering bacteria within the gums. By taking care of your mouth, you can prevent serious oral health issues. If you are seeing the impacts of aging in your mouth, visit a cosmetic dentist near you! Guilliot Dental provides cosmetic dentistry services in Lafayette. Our team of cosmetic dentists will keep your mouth feeling healthy and young.