A Guide to Aging & Dental Health

A Guide to Aging & Dental Health

Many people wonder what will happen to their teeth as they age. The effects depend largely on how they were used throughout a person's life. After decades of daily chewing, biting, and even grinding, the enamel gradually thins; loss of sensitivity is also fairly common. Keeping up with routine dental care and attending twice-annual checkups is important to your oral health. The following guide outlines more about the effects of normal aging on the mouth and how you can maintain a beautiful smile into your golden years.

What Are Some Effects of Aging on Dental Health?

Decreased Sensitivity

The nerves in teeth get smaller with age, which decreases their sensitivity over time. This may cause individuals to have trouble identifying problems or pain associated with tooth decay. Acidity, sugar, and hard food items all cause the enamel to wear down. Without regular dental care, cavities, cracks, or chips can go unnoticed due to the loss of sensitivity.

Diminished Taste & Feeling

dental care

Age can also change the way a person experiences food. As taste sensations weaken, it’s common for an individual to try and make up for the perceived blandness by adding more spices. Some begin eating their foods hotter, which can lead to gum tissue burns.

Dry Mouth

As people age, they also experience a decrease in saliva production. This is normal, but a dry mouth can lead to other problems. There may not be enough fluid to wash away bacterial buildup, which can lead to more plaque development—a precursor to gum disease. If this goes unchecked, receding gums, cavities, and tooth loss are possible consequences. If severe enough, your dentist can help you with this by recommending a dry mouth rinse.

How Can You Maintain a Healthy Mouth & Smile?

On top of seeing a dentist for regular dental care, here are some suggestions that can help you keep a healthy mouth and smile:

  • Brush twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Floss at least once a day and after eating foods that get stuck between the teeth.
  • Cut down on foods and beverages that contain sugar.
  • If you are a smoker or enjoy chewing tobacco, quit (or minimize) using these products.


Turn to the team at Hulse Dental for all your regular dental care needs. Since 1992, this office has been saving patients of all ages throughout Onalaska, WI, and the Coulee Region. They provide general and restorative dentistry services, as well as preventative treatments, teeth whitening, and root canals. The practice uses state-of-the-art technologies, and their dentists and hygienists perform all procedures in-house. Call (608) 783-1306 to schedule an exam, or visit them online to learn more.

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