When we think of aging, we often think about the way our skin shows wrinkles or how our joints begin to ache. The truth is, nearly every part of our bodies will succumb to the natural aging process – even our teeth! Regardless of your gender or ethnicity, your teeth can show signs of aging over time, including those that influence the way your teeth look, feel and function.
What Happens with Enamel Over Time?
One of the biggest ways your teeth age occurs within its enamel. The enamel on your teeth is the strongest substance in your entire body. This outer layer of your teeth is remarkably durable. However, enamel is still vulnerable to wear over time. As you age, your enamel naturally wears thin. In addition, if you regularly consume acidic and high-sugared foods and drinks, your enamel may wear down even quicker as the acids attack this outer layer over time.
Signs of an Aging Smile
Why does thinning enamel matter? There are a few things that can occur when your tooth enamel breaks down, including the following:
Sensitive Teeth: When enamel wears down, the inner dentin layer is more exposed. Unfortunately, dentin has tiny tubules or pathways that lead to your tooth pulp – where your tooth nerves reside. Therefore, without an enamel layer to barrier external elements, your teeth may become more sensitive as you age. This sensitivity is often compounded by receding gums, another oral health change that can occur as you get older.
Yellow/Dull Teeth: The enamel on your teeth is naturally white. Unfortunately, the next layer of dentin has a more yellow hue. So when enamel is thin, the yellow dentin layer can show through and make your smile appear more dull or discolored. Teeth can also become more stained over time due to the dark colored foods and drinks that we consume.
Dental Damage and Frequent Cavities: Enamel serves the primary purpose of protection for your teeth. Therefore, when this line of defense becomes weak or is compromised, your teeth are more susceptible to decay as well as fractures. It becomes very important for aging adults to have routine dental cleanings and use a fluoride toothpaste.
At Smile Design Studios, we specialize in taking care of your teeth at all stages of life. We are keenly aware of how the natural aging process impacts your oral health. Call our Houston office today to schedule your appointment so that we can give your aging smile the extra care it deserves.