Around the time you turn 40, give or take a couple of years, you may start noticing that your teeth are not as white, as tall, or maybe as straight as they used to be. You might also see the corners have rounded off, or feel like your back teeth don’t meet and line up like they used to do.
What’s going on? Your teeth age just like the rest of your body. But unlike your skin and nails, your permanent teeth don’t regenerate. There are four main causes for your teeth aging this way:
- Acidic Erosion: Your teeth have a protective outside layer called enamel. Any time you drink a carbonated drink, acidic fruit juice, coffee, tea, or even eat something with a high acid level, you wear away this protective layer just a little bit. Patients who experience acid reflux, who have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), or who suffer from eating disorders may be more prone to erosion due to the high level of acid in the back of their mouths. Continued exposure wears away the enamel, leaving the underlying dentin (which is yellow) and pulp vulnerable. Depending on what stage of decay is present in the tooth, several effective treatment options exist including dental crowns, dental implants, and in some cases, tooth extraction.
- Grinding / Attrition: Your teeth will also wear down from grinding together. This could happen when you chew food, and also when you’re not paying attention. You may be grinding your teeth and not even know it: it can happen during the day while you’re focusing on something else, or at night while you’re sleeping. The harsh effects of grinding, or bruxism, can be prevented with a fitted night guard.
- Mechanical Abrasion: Any time you use your teeth to do something other than chew food, you damage them. It could be something as inconsequential as holding a safety pin in your mouth, using your teeth to open a package, or biting your nails, but your teeth aren’t meant to do those jobs. Metal in particular is very hard on your teeth. You may chip a tooth or start a deep crack that only shows up later in life. Abrasion can even happen if you’re brushing too hard.
- Spreading Out. If you have any sort of gap in your teeth, whether a wide space or a missing tooth, your teeth may shift to fill the gap. This can change how your teeth line up individually and as a group, causing pain and a poor bite alignment. Common treatments for this include porcelain veneers which are specifically designed to fill the gaps in your teeth.
Help for Aging Teeth In Calgary
If you’ve started noticing the signs of an aging smile, schedule your appointment with Kherani Dental at Aspen.
Dr. Kherani will examine your teeth to check for any dental issues that need to be addressed. Once you have a clean bill of oral health, you can consult with him about what sort of cosmetic dentistry you might be best fitted for.
At our Calgary office, we offer most restorative and cosmetic treatments, including dental bonding, Invisalign, and porcelain veneers. Remember, once your adult teeth come in, you don’t get another set. Take care of your teeth, so you can look and feel your best your whole life!