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Are Your Teeth Ageing You?

Are Your Teeth Ageing You?
Published By Dr. Rachel Hall at 01 December, 2016

 


If you want to turn back the clock on ageing, the easiest and least painful way to do it is to look after your smile. Did you know a brighter smile can make you look at least five years younger?

The following dental issues will make your teeth and you look aged, Dr Rachel Hall Holistic Dentist explains how to keep your teeth white, bright and healthy:

GUM DISEASE

Research shows that 47% of the population has moderate to severe gum disease, which, if left untreated, can severely affect the health of your teeth and gums and make you look old before your time.

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque – a sticky bacteria that feed on food debris left inside the mouth – on teeth and gums. Many of us will suffer from a degree of it at some point, but to prevent it from brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day is essential.

Plaque can form in just 12 hours if you haven’t been cleaning your teeth properly. If it isn’t removed, it multiplies, releasing toxins that cause gum inflammation, gum damage and bleeding.

Gum disease, known as gingivitis, often causes no pain, so some damage may already have been done by the time it’s caught. If left untreated, it can develop into more serious problems and even tooth loss.

As well as your regular dental check-up, aim to visit a dental hygienist every three to six months. They will remove plaque and tartar from tricky areas you might not be able to teach yourself, like between the teeth or at the back of your mouth.


TOOTH DECAY

Tooth decay occurs when acids produced by bacteria in your mouth dissolve the outer layer of your teeth, which can result in cavities, toothache or abscesses. Everyone’s mouth contains bacteria, and when we consume sugary or high-carbohydrate foods and drinks the bacteria produce they decay-causing acid. You need to brush your teeth regularly to remove bacteria, as well as reducing the amount of sugar you consume to prevent tooth decay which not only damages your teeth but makes them look unsightly too.

Your saliva is the best natural antibacterial mouthwash as it protects your teeth from a build-up of both plaque and acid so ensure you stay well hydrated to keep your saliva flow at optimal levels.


YELLOWING TEETH

As we get older, our teeth get more yellow, so it’s an immediate giveaway of age, no matter how good the rest of your face looks.

Smoking, as well as tea, coffee, red wine, fizzy drinks and juices, can lead to discolouring. Anything that will stain a white shirt will stain your teeth.

Invest in of whitening treatments like in-office or take-home whitening and a high quality whitening toothpaste like EcoDent BriteWhite which uses enzymes and gentle micro-abrasive ingredients to lift stains from teeth.

Some teeth can actually look yellow because the enamel coating has worn down through aggressive brushing or acid exposure from foods and drinks. The only way to correct this is with cosmetic dental procedures like veneers or crowns.


RECEEDING GUMS

Receeding gums occur when the tissue that surrounds your teeth wears away, exposing more of your tooth, or even its root. Teeth look longer and feel more sensitive.

Although looking a bit ‘long in the tooth’ is a problem that escalates as we age, this isn’t the only cause. Gum recession is actually a long process that can be caused by lots of different factors, including smoking, poor oral health, teeth grinding and even health issues like diabetes.

It often begins with gum disease when you’re young, which can develop into periodontal disease, where inflammation and chemicals released by bacteria destroy the gums and bone structure that hold your teeth in place. The teeth eventually become loose and may need to be removed if left untreated.

Gum recession can also be caused by brushing your teeth incorrectly, especially if you use a manual toothbrush and press too hard or use anything other than a soft brush. Try something like the Philips Sonicare brush which gently pulsates and vibrates to clean the teeth and gums.

 


Tips To Keep Your Teeth In the Best Health

A few simple changes is all it takes to get a smile worth grinning for…

  • Brush Twice A Day: Brushing twice daily for 2 minutes will help break down the build up of plaque and stain from your teeth. Most people only brush for 20-30 seconds. So how about investing in a timer or using the stopwatch on your smart phone to ensure you are spending long enough to get all that nasty sticky plaque away.
  • Floss daily: Use dental floss and a combination of interdental brushes daily to remove plaque between the teeth, or go high tech and add in a Philips Sonicare Air Floss Pro, which fires water and air between the teeth to remove food and bacteria build-up. When flossing don’t be put off if your gums bleed at first as the more you clean between teeth and gums, the less inflammation and bleeding will occur. As soon as you stop flossing, the plaque and the problems will return.
  • Use a disclosing tablet: These colour the plaque on your teeth to show the areas that you’re missing while brushing. Areas with plaque stain pink or purple, and the darker the colour, the longer it’s been there. Most people use disclosing tablets first then brush, I suggest doing the opposite, use one after brushing, so you can learn which areas you’re missing. And brush your teeth in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing. If you would normally wear glasses then put them on too.
  • Choose the right mouthwash: Mouthwash is great, but many are formulated for specific dental issues I recommend using one that’s alcohol free and with as many natural ingredients aspossible. Ask your dentist to recommend a mouthwash one that’s right for you, as some can stain teeth if used incorrectly.

 

Keeping your teeth in the best condition will allow you to keep a beautiful healthy young looking smile for life.


 

  • Author - Rachel Hall

    Dr. Rachel Hall

    Rachel is the founder and principal dentist at Evolve Dental Healing with over 25 years experience, practicing holistically since 2001. Not your typical dentist, Rachel is a passionate opinion leader, challenging convention to empower people to make better dental and health choices, helping thousands to have healthy natural smiles. A respected writer and presenter on holistic dentistry, health and wellness it is Rachel’s mission to revolutionise the way people look at their dental health.

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