Common Health Problems with Your Teeth as You Get Older

Did you know that your teeth are the only parts of your skeleton that you can outwardly see? They handle the very first parts of your body’s process of digesting food and can be beautiful when well cared for. That said, they can also be prone to different health problems as you age. Here are three common ones to watch out for!

Tooth Decay

People are keeping their natural teeth for longer than ever before. While that is a good thing over all, that also means that there’s a greater number of older adults who will find themselves battling tooth decay. Part of the challenge is that the nerves in the teeth shrink, which makes you less sensitive to cavities and decay. That’s just one of the reasons why seniors are susceptible to cavities. Keeping up on regular dental appointments will help catch cavities before they become more serious.

Gum Disease

Gums tend to recede with age. This exposes the root of the tooth and is part of why the risk of developing tooth decay is higher in older adults. Untreated gum disease can lead to loss of teeth or other major issues. Gently brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day and flossing at least once will help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. Gentle brushing is key here, since being too rough when you brush can also cause the gum line to recede.

Shifting Teeth

Did you know that teeth shift as you age? This is because the jawbone tends to narrow and move forward as you get older. That can lead to the teeth themselves shifting. For some people, the changes are minor and may barely even be noticeable. For others, the shift can cause crowding, mess with the alignment of the teeth, and even change a person’s bite. That can be especially distressing if you spent time and money working to perfectly align your teeth. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to wear a retainer as directed after the braces are removed.

If you want to stay healthy for longer, one of the things you should do is make sure you take good care of your teeth. Tooth decay, gum disease, and shifting teeth can all spell trouble, so make sure you watch out for them. Talk to your dentist if you have any concerns about the health of your teeth so you can get help if you need it.

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Simon Greenberg

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