If you have gone much of your life aware of your underbite or overbite, but never developed any actual problems from that dental challenge, it is important to note that aging can negatively impact your oral health as a senior citizen. For instance, one of the normal effects of aging is often the slow movement of your teeth within your jaw, which can make decay more likely. In addition, that movement can expose the roots of teeth or old fillings that may be more susceptible to decay. Therefore, it is a good idea for senior citizens to be aware of the following information when planning for future visits to the dental office.
Why Dental Crowding Can Cause Problems As You Age
Given that, on average, people over the age of 65 are missing more than nine of their permanent teeth, it only makes sense that individuals in that age group are more susceptible to shifting teeth. One reason for this issue is that when you lose a tooth, the space it used to occupy can be slowly overtaken by the remaining teeth.
Alternatively, bone loss and aging often cause teeth to move and change position over time. Both of those issues can result in teeth that are more difficult to clean effectively and expose previously hidden parts of the tooth. Therefore, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to preserve the size, location, and function of your existing teeth. If the problem has already occurred, it may be time to speak with your dentist about the possibility of braces, retainers, or spacers, as explained below.
How To Benefit From Braces, Retainers And Spacers As An Older Adult
It is easy to associate braces and retainers with teenagers, but the truth is that they have been quite helpful for patients of all ages in recent years. Since they work slowly over time to move teeth back to the place they should be, they can prevent the problem from getting worse.
If there has already been a significant change to the appearance or location of your teeth, you may also need to use a spacer, which will keep the issue from getting worse. Regardless, for best results you should stay in regular contact with your dentist, as you may find that you are more prone to dental pain and decay due to teeth that are moving.
In conclusion, the teeth that protruded slightly from the top or bottom of your mouth in your younger years may have been cute and charming at one time. However, when your teeth move around in your jaw as a normal effect of aging or as the result of missing teeth, the slight overbite or underbite that was never problematic previously could quickly become a problem during your golden years. Therefore, it's a good idea to consider the information listed above.
For more information, contact a dentist at a dental office like Treasured Smiles Dentistry.