17 February 2021
Keep Your Smile for Life
You are probably aware that people are living longer than ever before. Instead of three score and ten many people can now expect to live 100 years or more! As time moves on people are rightly expecting more of their teeth. Few are happy just to have some teeth in their mouths in old age. They want a beautiful smile and they want it for life! What worked in the past to keep your teeth in your jaws is no longer enough to keep teeth beautiful for life. With increased longevity any deterioration in your teeth will mean they end up worn out or lost.
If you have any tooth wear from grinding your teeth in your sleep (which many people don’t realise they have) your teeth will be worn out long before they should.. What’s worse is that once the outer enamel is worn out the process accelerates by 700%!
Having a full mouth 3D scan is recommended to keep track of wear. With regular monitoring the software can overlay future images over past ones and show areas in red where wear is occurring. The areas can then be protected with composite or a nightguard.
Most popular drinks people enjoy are full of acids or sugars…Guess what? That means the enamel in your teeth is worn away over time. As the enamel is damaged the teeth can start to become more yellow. They can stain and chip away easier and not look so good.
Giving up drinks is hard. If you can chose water or milk instead of acidic or sugary drinks. 3D Scan monitoring with your dentist at Seapoint can track and identify areas of erosion over time.
Many people have some recession of their gums. It might cause some tooth sensitivity or it might feel nothing at all. Unfortunately over time gum recession can progress and lead to tooth weakening, staining of the exposed dentine and even tooth loss.
Careful 3D monitoring with scan at Seapoint can help identify progressing damage. If an area is worsening gum grafting can be carried out to strengthen the gum tissues. Sometimes grinding of teeth can make worse and a nightguard can help prevent damage.
Tooth Decay/Tooth Cavities
As teeth age often root surface gets exposed. This dentine is 700% softer than enamel so it is much more vulnerable to decay than hard enamel.. What’s worse is this decay can eat under the enamel and get into the nerve very quickly. Once there it can destroy the tooth from the inside. All medications cause dry mouth as a side effect and as we age more people take some medications.
Seeing the dental hygienist regularly – at least twice a year gives a change to remove tartar and importantly applying fluoride varnish to the area immediately after cleaning. Recent research shows that this is a very important thing to keep teeth for life. Immediately after cleaning the biofilm is removed from the teeth. If strong fluoride varnish is applied immediately it strengthens the tooth and helps prevent further decay in the area. All teeth which have been filled, crowned or veneered should have fluoride varnish applied every hygiene visit. Teeth with bridges are much less likely to get decay if they have this regularly.
Gum disease is the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults! More than decay! What’s worse is it often has no symptoms until it’s too late. Gum disease is believed to be a major factor in general health issues such as heart disease, strokes and some cancers. It has also been shown to be associated with higher complications and death rate from Covid 19.
The only way to know if you have gum disease is to visit your dentist and hygienist regularly. They can take x-rays to check bone levels and use special instruments to check gum health. If you do have gum disease the hygienist can remove disease causing tartar from the gums. Studies show that the benefits last for several months after hygiene treatment. For that reason it is normally recommended people with gum disease attend the hygienist every 3 months. Home care is also useful for gum disease elimination. Good brushing technique and anti- bacterial mouthwash such as Corsodyl can help keep gums healthy.