When you notice visible signs of aging, whether it’s a new gray hair sprouting or a wrinkle forming that wasn’t there before, chances are pretty good you book an appointment with a professional to help you manage it. What you might not realize is that your teeth can change as you age — and all the salon or esthetician visits in the world won’t help disguise the visible signs of aging if your smile gives you away.
While your teeth naturally change as you grow older, it doesn’t mean you have to live with a close-lipped smile for the rest of your days. There are a few tell-tale signs of aging that show up on your teeth and, thankfully, they’re pretty easy and painless to deal with.
1. Your Teeth Begin Yellowing
As the saying goes, youth is wasted on the young — the same can be said of good looks. Unfortunately this is true of dazzlingly white teeth, too. Teeth undergo changes during aging. Enamel thins out or gets worn away to reveal the dentin, which is naturally yellow. Your body lays down more of it as you age, which in turn reduces the size of the pulp of your teeth and makes them look darker.
Your lifestyle can also contribute to yellowing teeth. Each morning cup of coffee, evening glass of wine, your favorite blueberries as a sweet (and healthy!) treat or a chronic bad habit like smoking can all yellow your teeth and make you look older than your years.
Combat this sign of aging teeth by brushing your teeth regularly and making appointments with your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Speak to your doctor about ways you can maintain the health of your teeth enamel or whitening treatments to reduce the effects of staining.
2. Your Gums Recede
If you’ve got a grin that’s starting to show more and more tooth, receding gums might be to blame. And while age itself isn’t the cause, it’s a problem that becomes worse over time. The most common cause of a receding gum line in adults is periodontal disease. And while the cosmetic effects are startling, this troublesome sign spells major problems for your oral health.
Fight this sign of aging by booking and making regular appointments for cleanings. Cleanings remove plaque and other debris that can contribute to the development or worsening of periodontal disease. By getting into the office for regular cleanings, you can avoid more serious and severe treatments like dental scaling, planing or a round of antibiotics to treat infected gum tissue.
3. Your Jawline Isn’t As Strong As It Once Was
If you’ve noticed your jawline isn’t looking as defined as it once was, don’t just look up a makeup contouring tutorial on YouTube: book an appointment with your dentist. A less defined jawline can be the result of a loss of strength in the bones that keep your gums and teeth in place — and may be an indicator of osteoporosis, or a decrease in bone density that many women face as they age, particularly after menopause.
Osteoporosis isn’t just a dental health issue; it affects your entire body. But because we look at our faces every day, your dentist may be your first line of defense in detecting and fighting this sign of aging. Regular dental appointments can catch early signs, and comparing yearly x-rays can confirm whether you’re losing bone density or experiencing jaw bone changes. Having a series of images to compare is vital to noting changes, just one of the many reasons getting in for your regular checkups is important.
To combat this, ensure your diet is well-balanced and contains plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Regular cleanings and good dental hygiene can prevent infections and wear and tear that also degrade the bones that help support your teeth.
Keep Your Teeth Looking Younger
Keeping your teeth looking younger than your years is mostly a matter of practicing the pillars of dental hygiene: brushing and flossing regularly and making your appointments for cleanings and checkups. Teeth whitening procedures can help minimize some of the yellowing that comes with age and your dentist can help detect and treat, including more extensive problems like gum disease, osteoporosis leading to bone loss or enamel degradation, before they get so severe that they impact your appearance and overall health.
The offices of Drs. Krieger and Hur can’t stop time, but they can make dental care easy and convenient, often completing procedures the same day! When your smile needs perfecting, but your time is limited, give us a call at 201-560-0606 or email us here and we’ll get you fast-tracked back to eye-catching confidence.
We heard your selfies could be a lot better, so we wrote a “How to Take a Great Selfie” guide to help you show off our great handywork. It’ll be our little secret! You don’t have to tell anyone that your dentist helped you perfect those iconic social media images.
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