05 Jun What can I expect to happen to my teeth and gums as I age?
As we get older, our bodies undergo noticeable changes and just like any other health system, the aging process affects oral health. In addition to the impact of aging on oral health, there is a connection between overall wellbeing and the health of teeth and gums. For example, gum disease frequently accompanies other conditions such as diabetes. With age, some patients experience tooth wear and tear, enamel loss, and an increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease.
Fortunately, with proper oral hygiene along with preventive and restorative dentistry services, patients can prevent devastating oral health conditions. Since a healthy mouth is important to overall wellness, our holistic dentist takes a total-body approach to treating dental conditions that affect patients of all ages.
Why do teeth become worn down?
Tooth wear affects many people – especially folks during their advanced years. This is because teeth are vulnerable to breakage and fracturing. If you consider how much pressure is forced upon your teeth in a lifetime, it is easy to see why teeth might become worn down. Tooth wear is also caused by enamel loss (the protective outer layer of teeth), bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), and decay. A tooth cannot heal itself once it is damaged and if our team notices tooth wear, we will normally recommend a restoration. A restoration protects teeth from further damage and allows a patient to retain as much natural tooth structure as possible. When placing restorations, our holistic dentist chooses biocompatible restorations.
How does my overall health influence gum health?
Gums support teeth and when they are inflamed or irritated, it affects the health of teeth. Since the gingiva is a soft tissue with blood vessels, oral health conditions and common medications can cause inflammation of the gums. For example, hormonal fluctuations affect blood flow while common drugs like anti-histamines dry out the mouth. Conditions like diabetes and autoimmune disorders affect the body’s ability to fight infection. For all of these reasons, older patients are very susceptible to periodontal disease.
We encourage our patients to adopt a thorough oral hygiene routine and receive regular cleanings and checkups. Contact the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow at 972-458-2464 today to schedule an appointment.