Your teeth change a lot during your life. They never really stop moving, and the way they move is dependent on many factors. These factors can be both in and out of your control, like genetics, oral habits and hygiene, how your wisdom teeth develop, bruxism, and chronic illness. Overall, your teeth change due to regular aging and wear. However, it’s still important to know why this happens, and what you can do when it does.
What Can Change
As you age, your will teeth shift, your body loses bone mass, and your gums will recede. You may find that your top teeth look shorter as they wear down, and your bottom teeth look taller as the gum tissue recedes. Your bottom front teeth are more prone to shifting, so you may notice a lot of changes to your smile.
None of it is inherently bad, provided you maintain positive hygienic habits, but it is all on-going, which requires you be a little more intentional in your care.
Conditions & Medications
Some chronic conditions and medications can change your teeth and gum development. Most side effects from medication can range from dry mouth or change in your blood pressure, to bone loss. Anything that changes how your body operates can affect your teeth.
For example: having a dry mouth over a long period of time can cause problems in your mouth and throat. It’s important to know how your medications will affect your body as a whole, including your mouth.
Your teeth are also much different from your bones in your body. When teeth are damaged, they don’t heal, and they require an appointment with us to fix. If you are experiencing pain or ongoing discomfort, that’s not normal, and you should come see us.
What You Can Do
Your positive habits are habits for a reason. You can continue your regular brushing and flossing, as these are still the best methods to combat tooth decay.
If your teeth become more sensitive, consider switching to a softer-bristled brush. Brushing more lightly is also an easy and positive change. Brushing aggressively can cause your gums to recede earlier than intended. If you aren’t sure if you’re brushing correctly, consider using an electric toothbrush.
If you have full or partial dentures, clean them daily in a sanitary rinse. It’s also healthy to remove your dentures at night and for a few hours in the day, if possible.
If you smoke, look for alternatives that will help you kick the habit. Besides the increased risk for oral and lung cancers, smoking can greatly increase your likelihood of gum disease.
Lastly, you should still be seeing your dentist. If you can see us a couple of times a year, you should, as changes to your oral health can happen at a more accelerated rate as you get older. If some time has passed since you’ve last seen us, you make an appointment online!