Myths About Aging and Teeth

Despite entertaining stories and endeavors to the contrary, not a single living human can avoid aging and its effects. As a result, many circumstances like receding hairlines or sore muscles are summarily chalked up to getting old. This happens in the dental field too, with certain oral health conditions considered inevitable, just part of the aging process. Let’s talk about four of these myths, including what you can do to address them.

  • Myth: At some point when you get old, you’ll have to get dental implants or dentures.
    It’s true that as we get older, certain factors might increase the odds of tooth loss — for instance, dry mouth or vitamin deficiencies experienced as medication side effects. However, it’s also true that many people get very old and never lose their full set of teeth.

    What you can do:

    Keep a good routine of oral hygiene to retain your original teeth, including good communication with your dentist and regular dental checkups. Eat healthy to give your body the resources that shore up your mouth’s defenses against harmful acids, germs and bacteria.

  • Myth: It’s normal to get tooth pain as you get old.
    Pain perception adjusts with time and age, so an older person might not register the same discomfort as quickly or as intensely as a younger person. Therefore, painful teeth should not be considered normal for the elderly. This myth also makes some people “brush off” their dental checkups, attributing toothaches to “just getting old.” But whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s, or 70’s, tooth pain is telling you that something is not right with your mouth. Putting it off might result in tooth or bone loss that could have been avoided.

    What you can do:

    See your dentist at least twice a year, no matter how old you are. If you start experiencing tooth pain, call the Yuba City Dentistry Group and discuss the situation. We can help figure out what your tooth pain is really trying to tell you (and it has nothing to do with your age).

  • Myth: You stop getting cavities as you get old.
    No matter your age, you have the same bacteria in your mouth, and almost all bacteria potentially cause cavities. Current developments in the dental industry, the ongoing use of fluoride, and better public education about oral hygiene have resulted in fewer cavities and tooth loss for the average American. However, it is also a fact that our gums recede with age, which exposes the more vulnerable parts of our teeth to harmful influences.

    What you can do:

    Keep up your battle against bacteria with a routine of oral hygiene. Brush twice daily for two minutes each time, floss at least once per day, and use mouthwash as needed. Eat healthy. And the Yuba City Dentistry Group can help with receding gums by using the revolutionary Pinhole Surgical Technique, or PST. Be sure to ask us about it if you suffer from gum recession.

  • Myth: Teeth soften with age.
    Softening teeth are not normal at any age. Though teeth are different from bone, their enamel covering is not designed to soften over time, although it can wear away slightly. Softening teeth are often an indication of periodontal disease or tooth decay, and neither problem is a natural aging process.

    What you can do:

    Keep a variety of natural, crunchy foods like carrots and apples in your diet. These foods exercise your teeth and strengthen the jaw. If your doctor limits your diet due to conditions like osteoporosis, please contact us to discuss alternatives. However, if you suspect your teeth are “softening,” contact the Yuba City Dentistry Group at your earliest convenience so we can address the issue before it intensifies.

Getting old does not mean losing your teeth! Maintaining a good routine of oral hygiene at home and regularly visiting your dentist twice a year help you keep your original teeth intact. If you have any questions about dental myths or symptoms you experience, feel free to call us or schedule an appointment with our Yuba City dentist online. We’re happy to help you keep your teeth for ages!