Tips to keep that healthy smile – and your natural teeth!

from Dr.Berdj Kiladjian

Discoloring: Plaque is an invisible layer of bacteria that forms on our teeth, and can trap stains at any age. But as we get older, plaque builds up more quickly and is harder to remove. In addition, the tissue that lies underneath the tooth enamel, called “dentin,” is changing and can make teeth appear darker. Add decades of consuming coffee, tea, or tobacco and stains build over time. Daily brushing and flossing become increasingly important, particularly first thing in the morning and before bed to help combat the buildup of plaque overnight.

Dry Mouth: Aging can result in reduced flow of saliva, sometimes as a side effect of medications. Lack of moisture inside the mouth can lead to sore throat, a burning sensation,hoarse throat, or difficulty swallowing. Dry mouth left unattended can damage teeth, since saliva serves as a natural rinse, aiding in washing bacteria away from teeth and gums. It is suggested that sugar-free gum and hard candy can stimulate natural saliva, and artificial saliva and oral rinses can provide some relief. This is best discussed with your dentist.

Cavities: As we age, gums can begin to recede, leaving the portion of the tooth that was below the gum line exposed. These roots are softer than tooth surfaces are more appt to decay. The exposed area is also likely to be sensitive to hot and cold beverages and food. In addition,gums may be thinning and the need for brushing thoroughly but gently is important.

Fillings: As fillings get older, they can weaken or crack, and teeth may begin to decay around the edges of fillings. As a result, bacteria can enter the tooth, causing more decay. Regular checkups allow the dentist to keep an eye on existing older fillings.

Gum Disease: Left unattended, gums that become infected and diseased, can result in losing teeth or weakening the jawbone. You should contact your dentist if your gums become red or begin to bleed.

Regular checkups enable your dentist to spot problems early. Early detection & resolution of problems will help keep your natural teeth and smile! If you do not have a regular dentist, we’d love to help you keep that smile.