Aging Teeth Solutions: Restoring Your Youthful Smile

Elderly couple holding a cup of coffee as they snuggle with a blanket wrapped around them

If your teeth have gone from pearly white to dull and yellow as you age, don’t worry- there’s good news! When it comes to your teeth, age doesn’t have to come before beauty. Although some problems come with dental health and aging, with the proper care and attention, you can restore your radiant smile in no time.

What Happens to Your Teeth as You Age?

As you age, your teeth will start to show signs of wear and tear. And it makes sense! After decades of doing hard work, they need a little extra love to stay sparkling. Through the years, you’ll notice that your teeth will begin to appear darker, duller and shorter as they are worn down. Our enamel can get thinner, the exposed dentin becomes darker, teeth begin to yellow, and gums recede to expose the darker roots of the teeth and cause increased sensitivity. You may also notice your teeth beginning to rearrange, often because of grinding or clenching at night, causing crowding, gaps or overlapping. There’s a lot going on in your mouth as you age, but there’s no need to worry. There are many things you can do to bring your smile back to life.

Caring for Aging Teeth

  • Prevention – The best way to fight aging teeth problems is to protect them from aging effects before they have a chance to take their toll. Maintaining good oral hygiene is your greatest weapon against the adverse effects of aging teeth. Make sure you see your dentist regularly for your twice-yearly cleanings, brush twice a day, and floss once a day.
    • TIP: Use an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are experts at removing plaque in hard-to-reach places and usually have a timer in the device that will ensure your teeth get their two full minutes of brushing time each time you brush.
  • Restore whiteness – Bring the youthful sparkle back to your teeth by restoring whiteness and brightness. For external stains, try a whitening toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide. If that isn’t enough to revive your white smile, try using whitening pens and devices that have a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. For intrinsic stains that won’t come off with over-the-counter methods, talk to your dentist about professional whitening treatments. Caution: Cosmetic dental materials, such as fillings, bonding, veneers, bridges and crowns, will not whiten with normal tooth whitening solutions, so be sure to use caution when whitening at home
  • Wear a night guard or aligner – If you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night, your dentist might recommend that you wear a night guard or tooth aligner to protect your teeth and enamel from the damage and unwanted movement or crowding that comes with aging teeth. Not only will a mouth guard save your teeth from additional dental work, but it will also keep your teeth looking young and feeling healthy.
  • Bonding and veneers – When it comes to shaping teeth and repairing broken or uneven teeth, your best options are bonding or veneers. Bonding uses a material called resin to repair chipped teeth or fill gaps between them. Veneers are the more permanent option to fixing chipped or stained teeth. These cosmetic solutions will help turn back the clock on your teeth and help restore them to their former glory.
  • Gum grafting for receding gums – Aging teeth and gums come hand-in-hand. For receding gums that cause continued pain and sensitivity, dentists will often recommend a gum graft. A gum graft will either use gums from the roof of the mouth or existing gums from the base of the tooth to cover the exposed area. This will help curb sensitivity and bring back the pain-free eating and drinking you enjoyed in your youth.

No one wants a smile that shows signs of aging. Give your teeth the same amount of care they’ve given you through the years and start restoring your confident smile today. Talk to your dentist about which solutions will be best for you.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Common Conditions For ADULTS 55+

  • Gum disease
    This potentially serious condition occurs when the gum tissues surrounding teeth become infected because of a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is recognizable by swollen, red or bleeding gums. Gum disease is a concern for older adults for a number of reasons, including plaque building up on teeth and gums from not developing proper oral health care habits earlier in life.

  • Tooth or root decay
    Even at 55-plus years, adults can still develop tooth or root decay if gum recession has occurred. It is important for older adults to effectively clean the gums, the teeth and exposed root surfaces to remove dental plaque and food debris.

  • Sensitive teeth
    At some point, we've all tossed back a nice, cold glass of water only to grimace at that sharp, tingling sensation in our teeth. A number of factors cause tooth sensitivity, including brushing too aggressively with a hard-bristled toothbrush, worn tooth enamel, and a cracked or fractured tooth.