Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all aging and the population as a whole is aging. As we age, we are often reminded that age affects our health, but we seldom think about how age impacts our dental health and how our dental health impacts our medical condition. Unfortunately the effects of aging can have a major impact on our teeth, bite, smile and facial appearance. The good news is that there are many anti-aging treatments and general care to minimize the dental effects of age.
Anti-aging medicine that addresses skin aesthetics and hormone balancing continue to gain popularity and controversy. As the general population continues to age, anti-aging dentistry is keeping pace with anti-aging medicine. Anti-aging dentistry combines functional improvements and aesthetic dentistry to give the aging patient a better smile and an improved quality of life. Here are a few examples.
Worn and Stained Teeth
As we age, our teeth wear down, often become stained or yellow, making our smiles and face look years older than they really are. Anti-aging dentistry such as veneers and composite enhancements can give us a brighter and fuller smile. In many cases, just knowing that you have a great looking smile can cause you to use it more!
Altered Bites Leading to a Grumpy Look When Not Smiling
Over extended periods of time, loss of teeth, worn teeth, or jaw “settling,” may cause your face can start to droop or sag, giving you a grumpy look when you are not smiling. Talk to your dentist to determine how you can correct this situation. Jaw or teeth realignment, correcting ill-fitting dentures, dental implants, or other cosmetic dental treatments can significantly change your facial features and your smile.
Slurring Your Words
As teeth wear and your bite or jaw line changes with age, it can significantly impact your speech. We don’t realize that our teeth and jaws must work cohesively with our tongues to give us clear and crisp speech. Even slight changes can change our speech. Unfortunately, in most cases the wear and tear over the years, gradually reduces the “crispness” of our speech. If you notice a change in your speech, talk to your dentist about your options. You may not even realize that your teeth have worn or your bite has changed slightly, resulting in a change in speech.
Problems Chewing or a Bad Bite
When our teeth hurt or our bites are not functioning properly, we consciously or subconsciously may avoid eating some foods -leading to poor diets. Or, we may alter the way we chew- which can lead to a gradual alteration of our muscular/skeletal structure. Left uncorrected, these changes alter our facial features and our smiles. Make sure you do not let tooth wear, chipped, broken or lost teeth, injury or any bite issues linger. Over long periods of time, the issues most likely will negatively impact your smile. Dental implants, crowns, bridges, or dentures are all viable anti-aging options for these conditions.
Snoring and Sleep Deprivation
There are many causes of snoring. As we age, both men and women snore more. Hormone changes, weight gain with age, and jaw changes can all cause an increase in snoring, which may lead to sleep deprivation for a patient or spouse. The good news is that regardless of causes, our dentists can help you stop or lessen your snoring with custom fit devices.
We cannot cure aging, but we can often treat the aesthetic and functional deficiencies caused by aging. You don’t have to live with an aging smile. Talk to one of our dentists about anti-aging dentistry and turn back the clock with anti-aging dentistry.