Photo: Kim Carpenter

7 Ways Your Teeth Are Aging You

Break the clock.


When we think of anti-aging, most of us think about special lotions and potions — and for good reason. In 2018, the global anti-aging market was worth $42.51 billion, and this is estimated to grow considerably in the years to come thanks to rapidly advancing technological development.

The efficacy of anti-aging serums has been called into question, with many claiming they don’t even work at all. They simply make us feel good and proactive about our looks. Thankfully, there are elements of our looks we can take complete control over, shaving years off and giving us that added bit of confidence to face the world and take life in stride — this is the general state of our teeth.

You might not have thought about how your teeth are aging you, but the fact is, a great set of teeth can make you look ten years younger, while a great deal of imperfections can make us look (and feel) worn out and tired. Below are seven key ways your teeth can be aging you and what you can do about it.

1. General Dental Wear and Tear

You might not realize it, but your teeth are super-hero strong. In fact, when you bear down with your molars, they can withstand an incredible 200 pounds of pressure. Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. That being said, even teeth have their limits. They’re not indestructible — a lifetime of crunching and grinding and exposure to acidic foods can wear away your enamel. Teeth that used to be nicely rounded become flatter, sharper and worn down. As your teeth shorten, your lips sag inward. The distance between your nose and your chin decreases, leaving you looking older than your years.

Thankfully, your local dentist can help you with some simple cosmetic solutions, including tooth veneers, tooth contouring, and bonding. You might also be offered a night guard to protect against grinding.

2. Chips and Cracks in Teeth

Strong though your enamel might be, with age it becomes more brittle and susceptible to damage. Small fracture lines and chips start to appear, and these chips lead to further problems, drawing attention to the flaws of your once-bright smile. Cracks can cause you to get small particles of food trapped in the crevices, leading to yellowing.

Bonding, veneers, and crowns are the best remedies to counter this problem. Talk to your dentist to find out what option is best for you.

3. Stains and Discolouration of the Teeth

Just as our hair changes color as we age, so do our teeth. It’s sad but inevitable — as we get older, our teeth change from yellow to gray and generally experience a one-or-two shade change. This might not sound too drastic, but it’s enough to add a few years onto our looks. Your skin might look youthful and elastic, but if you have yellowing teeth, they could be giving away your secret.

Discoloration occurs as a result of staining, thinning of the enamel and the shrinking of the pulp within the tooth. There are always new products or quick-fix solutions on the market claiming to whiten your teeth, including activated charcoal teeth whitening and bicarbonate of soda, to name just a few. However, if you want to quickly get rid of stains on teeth, professional dental care can offer immediate and satisfying results using laser teeth whitening or porcelain veneers, depending on your budget and preferences.

4. Crookedness and Uneven Teeth

Over time, even the straightest and most beautiful of teeth become susceptible to the dangers of teeth shifting — otherwise known as mesial drift. Crowded teeth are an unfortunate tell-tale sign of age, and can result in a lack of dental support, meaning your cheeks and lips can appear saggy.

To fix crooked or uneven teeth, you can either choose veneers or braces. If you are worried about wearing braces as an adult, you should know that you have the option of Invisalign — invisible braces that can be removed as and when you please.

5. Gum Recession

As you get older, your gums naturally recede, so the root of your tooth becomes more visible, and your teeth appear to be longer — knowing this, the expression “long in the tooth” makes much more sense! Whether or not we consciously realize it, many cues cause us to judge someone as older than their age. This is one of the signs that could be betraying you. Thankfully, there are solutions.

Gum tissue grafting can certainly help. The use of the right toothbrush can also reduce gum recession. Refrain from pressing too hard when using a manual toothbrush. Instead, choose a toothbrush recommended by dentists and remember, you don’t have to brush hard to brush effectively.

6. Gum Disease

Incredibly, research has shown that 47% of the population has moderate to severe gum disease. Gum disease, caused by the buildup of plaque, is the number one cause of tooth loss. So if you have gum disease, it’s important to address it now. Gaps in teeth are a sure sign of aging, which leaves you open to added complications, such as teeth shifting.

To prevent gum disease, brush twice a day, floss daily and make sure to visit your dentist for professional dental care every six months. Dentists can remove plaque and tartar from tricky areas, such as between your teeth or at the very back of your mouth.

7. Old-Fashioned Silver Crowns

Silver fillings an instant giveaway of age, but mercifully they are easy to replace. Talk to your dentist about trading in your silver fillings for plastic or porcelain fillings, which will give you a brighter, whiter smile you will be happy to show off.


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