Getting older takes its toll on your body, and your teeth are no exception, but the good news is there is a lot you can do to help keep them in great shape with good preventative dental care. Read on to discover easy ways to reduce the wear and tear on your teeth and gums.
Avoid Damaging Oral Habits
Your teeth are covered with strong tooth enamel, but all that biting, chewing and grinding food can gradually wear teeth down over the years. Over time, your tooth cusps also become flatter due to wear and tear. It’s impossible to prevent all wear and tear on teeth, but you can reduce your risk by avoiding very hard foods or habits like chewing on ice cubes. These can chip or crack your tooth enamel and may require restorative care.
Get Treatment for a Poor Bite
Teeth can be ground down if you have a poor bite, where your teeth do not occlude or bite together properly. Poor occlusion may mean you bite together with some teeth before others, wearing them down. A poor bite can also place stress on your jaw joints. One option is to look into orthodontic treatment to realign teeth, and these days there are several adult braces that are discreet and easy to use. Alternatively, depending on the problems requiring correction, we may be able to adjust your tooth surfaces, so your teeth meet together properly.
Teeth Clenching and Grinding
Many people have a clenching and grinding habit called bruxism, which normally occurs during sleep, but can also happen during the waking hours. It can significantly damage teeth, jaws and gums, causing problems with toothache and jaw ache and even chronic headaches. If you suspect you may have bruxism, make an appointment to come and see us. Our dentists can gently examine your teeth and jaw joints for signs of damage and inflammation. Often, bruxism is easy to treat with a custom-made night guard. The night guard fits over your teeth and is made from a strong plastic material, so the opposing teeth grind harmlessly against it.
Maintaining healthy gums is extremely important, protecting your teeth and even your general health. Each day, a sticky biofilm called dental plaque coats your teeth and begins to build up just minutes after brushing and flossing. It contains bacteria that, if not promptly removed, will infect and inflame your gums. Eventually, these bacteria will destroy your gums and the bone around your teeth, loosening them so we may need to extract them. As the gums are infected, they start to bleed more easily, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream, where they can contribute to serious health problems.
When you come and see us regularly, we always check for any early signs of gum disease because, at this stage, it is reversible. We can clean your teeth professionally, getting rid of plaque and hardened plaque, a substance called calculus or tartar. Our hygienist can also review your oral care routine with you, making sure you are cleaning your teeth thoroughly and using appropriate tools.
We can help ensure your teeth remain in great shape no matter your age, by working with you.