Effects of aging on dental health

Effects of aging on dental health


Aging affects the whole body, including your teeth and gums. Various dental conditions are associated with aging. It is because, as you age, the cell renewal rate and the immune system work slower. Also, the tissues become thinner and less elastic, and Bones become less dense and strong. In such cases, taking good care of your teeth and dental health becomes even more essential. 

Your whole body, including your mouth, changes as you age. The nerves in your teeth degenerate and become smaller, making your teeth prone to cavities or other problems. Regular dental exams are essential to detecting these problems before they become more serious.


Let's start with the five significant changes aging makes to your mouth.


  1. Enamel wears off over time


Yellowing of teeth becomes prominent with age because the outer covering of the teeth, which is enamel, wears off with age, exposing the dentin inside. Some people suffer from dull and acute pain due to weak teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold. You must visit a dentist as soon as you notice the color change. Start using a soft toothbrush and desensitizing toothpaste as a home remedy.


  1. Dry mouth/xerostomia


Older adults experience a decrease in saliva production. It occurs because of age, medicine use, or certain health conditions. The proper amount of saliva production is essential in maintaining good oral health. It protects your teeth from decay and helps your gums stay healthy. A decrease in saliva production can cause difficulty chewing, swallowing, and tasting and makes you prone to mouth sores, gum diseases, and tooth decay.

  1. Periodontal diseases


Tooth fall is often associated with periodontal problems, when the gum tissue is pulled away from the tooth, exposing the base, or root, of the tooth. It starts gingivitis and makes it easy for bacteria to build up, causing inflammation and decay. Healthy gums mean healthy teeth; with advancing age, the gum tissue is weakened, forming pockets around them. Food accumulates in these pockets leading to infection and causing bacterial accumulation. As a result, loss of teeth occurs. Poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, and other systemic problems are more likely to cause this. Don't think it's normal for your gums to recede with age. Go to the dentist before it's too late.


Home remedies- Practice good oral hygiene and massage your gums regularly.

  1. Bad breath


Bad breath occurs when plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth change sugars and starches from food into acid. This acid attack dehydrates your mouth, causing bad breath and eroding tooth enamel leading to cavities. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly to avoid such issues are essential. Once they are taken care of, bad breath will never be a problem.


  1. Ulcers, cheek bites, and oral cancer


The incidence of oral cancer is twice as high in men as in women over 45. The most common cause is smoking and the use of tobacco products. Other factors that may increase the risk for oral cancer include:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection 
  • Poor dental and oral hygiene
  • Taking immunosuppressants
  • Rubbing from rough teeth, dentures, or fillings over a long period

It can be due to ill-fitted dentures and sharp edges of the half-broken teeth, any such problem you notice. Please see your doctor.


Tips for Maintaining and Improving Your Oral Health 


  • Regularly brush your teeth twice a day. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and an electric toothbrush.
  • Flossing between your teeth once a day.
  • Remember to clean your partial dentures daily. Make sure you remove them at night while sleeping. 
  • Drink fluoridated water as it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol as it can risk you for lung and other cancers, while smoking also increases gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss problems.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a complete dental check-up, even if your teeth look healthy.


However strong your teeth might be, you can't save them from the wear and tear they go through during our lifetime; the damage, of course, is irreversible. One has to visit a dentist for restoration, but you can take care of them at the right time to delay the damages as much. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.



  • Aging and dental health
  • Denture problems in elderly
  • Receding gums at the age of 40
  • Gum diseases in elderly
  • teeth problems in old people