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  • Dr Gautam Herle

Caring for ageing teeth

Updated: Sep 25




Time rolls on, you enjoy foods that need to be bitten and chewed, drinks that are acidic or sugary, and your teeth are going to get worn down. But it’s not like it’s something you just need to accept – your teeth don’t have to get worn down to the nub just because you’re no longer a kid. There’s a lot you can do – in consultation with your dentist – to keep them in tip-top order.


Time rolls on, you enjoy foods that need to be bitten and chewed, drinks that are acidic or sugary, and your teeth are going to get worn down. But it’s not like it’s something you just need to accept – your teeth don’t have to get worn down to the nub just because you’re no longer a kid. There’s a lot you can do – in consultation with your dentist – to keep them in tip-top order.


Prevention is better than a cure


Your teeth are really, really strong. Having said that, they aren’t invincible, and can still wear down. Thanks to a lifetime of chewing and biting, as well as ingesting acidic or sugary food and drinks will see your teeth’s enamel wear away. Enamel being your teeth’s sturdy outer layer.


It’s not like you can restore the lost enamel from your teeth, at least without the help of your dentist. But you can take some simple preventative steps that would help stop making the issue any worse. You can't erase a lifetime of wear and tear, without having it restored by a dentist, but you can keep it from getting worse. Not chewing hard foods, or ice cubes for that matter is a good place to start – chewing down on hard things like that can cause chips in your tooth enamel, and sometimes lead to your teeth being broken.


Sensitivity


Ever get that sharp sting when you eat or drink something that’s either too hot or too cold? This shows signs of your teeth being sensitive. Your teeth can become more sensitive if you are subject to worn tooth enamel, any further gum problems, as well as tooth decay. Again, this comes down to prevention, and the values of looking after your teeth in advance. Specific toothpastes can help mitigate the symptoms, and your dentist (me, for example) can offer some treatments next time you visit.


The value of healthy gums


Plaque is constantly growing on your teeth. Without removing it through flossing and brushing, you may very well experience soreness, swelling, and bleeding gums. It can even cause infections that damage the bone underneath and have flow-on impacts on your general health beyond your teeth. If left unchecked, gum disease can harm your gums and jaw/face bones. Teeth will sometimes need to be removed when this kind of thing happens. Signs of gum disease include:


  • Bleeding when you brush your teeth

  • Receding gums

  • Loose teeth

  • Bad breath


Healthy gums come with healthy teeth. Looking after your teeth with regular, proper brushing and flossing means that you’ll be looking after your gums. Brushing twice daily and floss each day. Make sure the toothpaste you brush with contains fluoride. Visit your dentist regularly – every six months – quite smoking and cut back on sugary food and drinks. Use an antibacterial mouthwash, which – when used with brushing and flossing – can help reduce the build-up of plaque.


Dry mouths


The saliva you produce helps keep your teeth clean and protects them from decay. But as you age, your mouth gets drier, which can increase your chances of developing tooth decay. The use of various medications can contribute to this, but the solution can be as simple as you drinking more water. Chewing sugar-free gum also helps produce more saliva and freshens your breath. If your medications are contributing to this, you may want to discuss altering your prescriptions with your MD.


Good dental hygiene and good dental habits are important at any age, but since you may face certain issues as you get older, it takes a more important role. Thankfully, your dentist (again, that’s me) can help you meet a host of these challenges

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info@myersdental.com.au 

(03) 5222 4599

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Copyright 2019 © Dr Gautam Herle

34 Myers St, Geelong

VIC 3220, Australia