You’ve heard the phrase, “long in the tooth.” But have you ever thought about the meaning behind it? Read on to learn about this common symptom of aging, and what you can do to protect your teeth as you get older.
Long In the Tooth
Did you know that teeth don’t actually grow? Unfortunately, your permanent teeth are all you’ve got, which is why the teeth won’t heal on their own if you chip a tooth or get a cavity. So, where does the expression come from? The teeth appear to get longer over time due to gum recession, which commonly occurs as we age.
With gum recession, the gum line wears away or pulls back, recedes, gradually exposing more of the tooth and its root. It’s common as we age, but there are also a number of contributing factors, including gum disease, rough brushing, tobacco use, genetics, poor dental care, and more. Gum recession can leave you vulnerable to decay and tooth loosening and loss, so it’s very important that it’s treated if you have it, and prevented if possible.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to combat gum recession. The easiest step in preventing it is to treat your teeth well. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing according to dentist recommendations, and when you brush, make sure to be gentle. If this is a challenge for you, try an electric toothbrush. There are even models with pressure sensors available. Other ways to prevent gum recession? Quit smoking, stop grinding, and get orthodontic work done if you need it. And remember, you should be seeing your dentist twice a year for an exam. If your gums are beginning to recede, he or she will spot it and help you treat it.
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Canton, GA
As you age, there are more and more dental concerns to address. Whether it’s gum recession that’s bugging you, or if you’re ready for veneers, or if you just want to keep your smile healthy and sparkling, we’re here for you!