What happens to our teeth as we age

Recent research has linked the health of our teeth and gums to overall health, underlining the need to take care of our teeth. But for teeth over 50, there are some changes in the mouth which may cause concern.

What happens
Your teeth may seem thinner and more yellow than white. Your gums may have receded, which may make teeth over 50 more sensitive. Aging can make teeth thinner and more likely to break.
As we age, moisture is lost throughout the body, and in the mouth that means less saliva. Saliva is important, because it washes away bacteria. Left in place, it can lead to decay, gum disease and infection.

If your gums aren’t healthy, they become swollen and bleed after brushing, which can develop into root cavities, loose teeth and ultimately, tooth loss. Receding gums expose more of the roots of the teeth, which is why you may become sensitive to hot or cold food.

Gums can also recede due to aggressive brushing, or dental problems such as misalignment, grinding or clenching.

What can you do to help?
Peter Young, a leading dentist in Northwich recommends maintaining a good dental hygiene routine – brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. Brush your tongue, as far back as you can without gagging, this will clear bacteria and freshen breath.

Make sure you have regular dental check-ups and see the hygienist every six months. Eat well, avoiding sweet treats and eating crunchy fruit and vegetables, like apples, which increase saliva. Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are rich in calcium, which supports teeth.

A little extra help
If discolouration bothers you, then you can speak to our dentist in Northwich about teeth-whitening. Veneers are another way to refresh the look of your teeth, as is dental bonding, using plastic resin. Braces remain an option – if you’ve always been unhappy with the positioning of your teeth, it may still be possible to do something.