Aging Adults Can (and should) Have Healthy Teeth!

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As adults age, it’s amazing how well natural teeth are able to hold up considering many years of biting, chewing, crunching and clenching. However, over time this continual wear and tear has an impact on tooth structure.

Many adults who are committed to their six month dental check-ups fail to maintain their oral health adequately at home. Although the lecture on flossing often goes in one ear and out the other, daily flossing has a tremendous effect on the health of teeth. Flossing removes food particles and plaque buildup between the teeth. This reduces bacteria in your mouth and lessens your potential for gum disease and cavities.

Some foods you eat are also a challenge to keeping teeth healthy, especially sugary and starchy foods. These carbohydrates ferment, causing oral bacteria in the mouth to produce acids that erode the enamel of teeth. These foods aren’t just candy and potatoes. They include things like colas and sports drinks.

Frequent snacking is also a problem since it causes acid in the mouth to be elevated over an extended time. Rather than snacking, chewing sugarless gum increases saliva, which cleanses the mouth and neutralizes acidity.

Aging also leaves us with a number of teeth that have been repaired over the years, such as having fillings, crowns or root canals. Although your natural teeth do not get more brittle as we age, those who have cracked or chipped teeth, fillings or root canals are more vulnerable to cracks and fractures since they no longer have their original structural integrity.

Wear and tear can also be caused from years of grinding or clenching teeth. This can wear down the biting surfaces of teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. Your general dentist is trained to spot cracks or fractures that may weaken teeth as well as teeth affected by grinding.

Keeping your natural teeth healthy – all of your life – is important to your overall health and well-being. If you are missing teeth, it’s necessary that each one is replaced. Dental implants are the most ‘natural’ method in today’s tooth replacement options. We’ll be happy to discuss implants with you during a consultation. Please call (828) 274-9440.

Recent Posts