Keeping Your Teeth For Life? 7 Problems You May Face As You Age

Dentist Articles

Unless you're automatically going to opt for dentures by the time you reach a certain age or experience a certain number of dental issues, taking good care of your natural teeth is extremely important. With the aging of natural teeth, more and more complications may arise. Here are seven problems you may face with your own teeth as you get older and how to solve them.

1. Bleeding Gums

Gingivitis and/or periodontitis are common causes of bleeding gums and they're more than just an annoyance. If your gums are bleeding when you brush, particularly if it's happening frequently, you may be developing gum disease. This can be especially troubling for older people; thus, you want to bring the matter to the attention of your dentist right away.

In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist may recommend a procedure called scaling, which simply involves removing the plaque and other material present on the gums which is contributing to the periodontitis. Since this is a preemptive procedure and non-surgical, it's probably your best bet to stop the progression of disease within your mouth quickly.

2. Sensitivity To Temperatures

Although sensitivity itself may be something you simply have to accept as a consequence of getting older, it's important that you have a dentist evaluate the situation to make sure nothing else is going on. Sometimes, sensitivity may be due to an exposed root, diseased gums or an area in decay. After your dentist has eliminated such possibilities, you may want to switch to a toothpaste specialty formulated for sensitive teeth and avoid consuming anything that's extremely cold.

3. Discoloration

Unfortunately, the older your teeth get, the more likely they are to succumb to the discoloration that comes from enjoying coffee, tea, wine and foods that stain teeth. Your enamel might also be wearing away or perhaps the discoloration can be attributed to a medication you're taking. Whatever the cause, it's best to check in with your dentist for whitening advice, rather than start trying every over-the-counter "miracle" product you see in the store. Many of these whiteners contain strong ingredients which may irritate your mouth, particularly if your gums are already becoming more sensitive.

Ask your dentist about a whitening boost in their office and what the best follow-up solutions may be for you. Also, if you're a woman, take advantage of how lipstick can create the illusion of whiter teeth.

4. Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Especially if you're taking any number of medications that cause dry mouth, you're not just left feeling uncomfortable, but your teeth may be more vulnerable with Xerostomia. Since you probably can't stop taking your prescriptions, you need to address the problems associated with dry mouth effectively. Add drinking more water every day to your to-do list and cut back on caffeine and alcohol, to address the symptoms. Also, ask your doctor about taking a saliva substitute, which can also help. They're available in different forms, but if your dry mouth is a serious, persistent issue, a spray may offer you the fastest and most complete relief.

To stimulate more saliva production without adding yet another medication to your repertoire, chew a sugar-free gum whenever your mouth feels too dry.

5. Shifting Of Teeth

Although shifting shouldn't cause much discomfort for you, it may make cleaning your teeth more challenging, possibly leading to cavities. Shifting should be recognized by your health care providers and if it becomes overbearing, they may recommend you being fitted for a spacer or retainer. They'll also advise you to brush and floss even more meticulously than before.

6. Lost Fillings

Maybe you have fillings from a long time ago sitting in your teeth, which may mean they can be prone to jarring loose and falling out. Although this will feel and taste very odd at the time, it shouldn't be an emergency situation, unless the event causes extreme pain. Simply ring your dentist's office as soon as you can and ask for a special appointment to resolve the lost filling. Their office should have reserved appointments, specifically for these types of situations.

7. More Cavities

Although you may not be lackadaisical with your oral care or diet, you may be surprised when your dentist discovers you've developed more cavities. This may be a direct result of certain medications you're taking; thus, it's important that you ask your physician about the potential side-effects of any medicine before you start taking it. If you need to take something that can be harsh on your teeth, formulate a plan of action with your dentist.

Give yourself a pat on the back for having taken such good care of your natural teeth your whole life, but be sure to take the habit even further, now that you're getting older. As with many other things, the challenges of aging mean you need to pay closer attention to what's going on with your body and see that you get a little extra TLC in all areas. Talk to a dentist at a place like Centre Family Dentistry for more information. 


5 June 2017