If your teeth aren’t as healthy as they once were, it’s likely not because of your age.
By Dr. Jeffrey Haddad
Sponsored by Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry
Photos courtesy of Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry
Most people want to forget that as we age, life takes its toll on our bodies. This is the case for our hips, knees and especially our teeth. However, deterioration of your smile is not based on age. You can choose to protect your teeth with certain appliances and, more importantly, you have options to restore your dentition.
Brushing and flossing daily does not prevent severe damage to your teeth during the day or while you sleep. In fact, most people believe wearing down and staining of teeth is part of the “normal” aging process. This could not be further from the truth. In most situations, if your teeth are not as youthful or healthy as they used to be, there is an actual reason — and it is not your age.
There are several solutions available to give you back a healthy and attractive smile. Recently, I had a patient who was in for her six-month cleaning. Anne, who is also a dietitian, brought to my attention that having teeth that not only look good, but more importantly function and feel good, is something she took for granted until we gave her back a properly restored mouth.
When Anne came to our office, she knew she was a grinder, but she had no idea how bad it had gotten. She had flattened front teeth, and many of her old fillings and crowns were worn down. She started experiencing muscular tension in her temples and jaws, and headaches occurred more frequently. When we explained to her it was because of the significant wear on her teeth and her destructive bite, she decided she needed to address these issues.
After restoring her teeth with new porcelain restorations, Anne realized how much she had been compromising over the years. In a conversation during her cleaning, Anne told me she loved the way her teeth looked, but she really loved that she could eat again. I asked her to elaborate and she said she never realized how compromised her eating became because of her teeth. She began eating things she could eat, not things that she wanted to eat. “I had a steak the other day and it was amazing,” she told me. “All I could eat before was soft, easy-to-chew foods like pasta, and I’m a dietitian!”
We accommodate for many things in life, but we do so at a price. I have seen many people who do not address conditions that affect their dental health.
Many things can damage your teeth — some habits and conditions include:
- Grinding at night
- Clenching during the day
- Clenching and grinding at night due to snoring and sleep apnea
- Older fillings and crowns breaking down with age
- Acid reflux
Whether you protect your teeth with a night grinding guard or sleep apnea appliance, or if your teeth have already sustained too much damage and require proper restorations –– do not make the mistake of waiting until it is too late. With significant advancements in dentistry, there is no reason anyone should compromise function or health of their teeth.
If you have experienced a loss of chewing function, or if you have realized your smile and teeth have more wear and damage than they should, getting evaluated by a comprehensive dentist could give you back what you have lost.
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