Aging Teeth: Part 1

aging teethHave you noticed that as you get older you’re having more problems with your teeth? Maybe they are becoming sensitive, looking darker, chipping or cracking, or just aching. Your teeth do change as you age. Just think of it. The rest of your body changes why shouldn’t your teeth? After all, they chew, crunch, bite, and grind day-in-and-day-out for years on end. They take a lot of wear and tear. And just as wear and tear over the years takes a toll on your body, the same happens with your teeth. Here is how aging teeth can change.


An oral bacterium that is ever-present in your mouth reacts with the sugars and starches we eat daily. The bacteria produce acids as they metabolize sugar and these acids cause enamel erosion. The acids in soda and other drinks compound the problem. As the acids erode your tooth enamel they can cause decay, but the erosion process also makes your enamel thinner. When your enamel is thin your tooth dentin, which is off-white, shows through your enamel making your teeth look darker.

Structural Wear

Your teeth do not become more brittle with age, but if you have received several fillings over the years, the health of your teeth can become compromised.  If you have root canals or large fillings, you teeth are not as structurally strong as those without decay which puts them at risk for breaks or cracks.

Mechanical Wear

Although your teeth are strong and meant to chew, tear, crush, and grind foods, they are not meant to grind against one another. The chronic habit of grinding and clenching your teeth is called bruxism and can be very damaging to your dentition as well as your jaw joints. Bruxing can be due to stress, anxiety, worry, and other factors, but the stress it causes on your teeth and jaws can cause serious damage including: worn down anterior teeth and molars; misalignment; breaks, chips, fractures, and cracks; and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.