It may come as a surprise to some patients that the ageing process is not only felt and seen in the texture and tone of skin on the face, but can also affect the appearance of teeth. These effects can be seen from the change in colour of teeth to teeth appearing longer in length than before.
Human tooth development ends when adults reach their early twenties but teeth can appear to look older and contribute to an aged look in adults when they reach middle age.
How ageing can make teeth look older
- Teeth appear longer than they actually are
This effect has much to do with receding gums and nothing to do with teeth growing. Gum recession usually occurs as adults advance in years and this exposes more of the surface areas of teeth. There are many causes of gum recession, the first of which can be a warning sign of gum disease.
- Teeth may become more sensitive
The Oral Health Foundation puts the age of adults who are most likely to experience tooth sensitivity in their 40s and in some adults who are in their 70s. Teeth may become sensitive due to incorrect brushing techniques, dental erosion, cracks in teeth, abrasive teeth whitening products and teeth grinding. A dentist in Liverpool is best placed to discover the root cause and to suggest appropriate treatment.
- Tooth discolouration and staining
Many adults find that as they grow older, their teeth take on a ‘yellowish’ look. This could happen for a number of reasons: over time the surface layer of teeth (enamel) becomes more transparent, as well as staining from smoking and consuming teeth-staining foods and beverages.
The life expectancy of the UK population has doubled in the last two centuries with 16 percent of the population living to the age of 65 years and older. There are also more older adults in the 85 years and older age bracket. With extended lifespans, there is an increasing need for us to take care of our teeth in order to enjoy their functionality for longer.
Best ways to protect teeth for later in life
It is never too late for patients to take appropriate action to continue enjoying healthy looking teeth. Patients who are interested in delaying the negative effects of the ageing process are advised to consider the following tips:
- Don’t neglect those routine dental check-ups
Adults require regular dental clinic check-ups in a similar way that children do. Preventive treatments are crucial to help patients avoid unnecessary discomfort and unwanted complex and lengthy dental procedures and treatments. Visiting the dentist in middle age should be seen as an investment in dental, emotional and mental well-being.
- Compensate for inadequate saliva production
Saliva is incredibly important for a healthy mouth as one of its main roles is to rid the mouth of harmful bacteria. If patients begin find there are symptoms of less saliva production like dry mouth, they can increase their water intake and chew sugar-free gum to boost saliva production
- Opt for cosmetic dental procedures
There are a whole host of cosmetic treatments available for patients to whiten stained teeth, correct chipped teeth or straighten crooked teeth. If a patient has concerns about the look of their smile, the most reliable way to address these concerns would be to consult a licensed dental practitioner.
Look after the health and appearance of your teeth with quality dental care. Call your dentist today to arrange a consultation.