Have you ever listened to Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” and wished you were younger? Does understanding that reference make you want to be younger? While aging is a natural and essential part of life, it unfortunately causes effects that many people are not too fond of. When it comes to facial aesthetics, wrinkles have been deemed the most common indicator of age. However, did you know that your smile can give away more information about your age than you may have thought?
It’s true. The look of your smile can either make you look older or younger than you actually are. This is because age affects your teeth and gums just like any other part of your body. While these changes may not be as obvious as wrinkles, they are still subtle signs of aging. Some things that can make you look older than you are include: stained or yellow teeth, damaged teeth, and receding gums.
Teeth can become stained after years of eating and drinking pigmented foods and beverages. As the outer enamel wears down, the yellowish dentin also will begin to show, making your teeth appear dull in color. People who grind their teeth may also have chips, cracks, or areas of significantly worn enamel, which can all add years to your smile. Finally, gum disease can cause your gums to recede and make your teeth look larger than normal.
Luckily, these changes caused by aging do not need to be permanent thanks to cosmetic dentistry. Depending on what your cosmetic goals are, there are a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can completely change the look of your smile and make you appear years younger. Here’s how:
After years of chewing, biting, and possible teeth grinding, it is no surprise that your teeth may not look the way they used to. Depending on your bite, your teeth can wear down in a variety of ways. In some cases, this may cause your teeth to be oddly shaped. In other cases, this can even cause cracks or chips to form. To correct enamel damage associated with aging, there are several cosmetic dental treatments that can be used, such as: crowns, veneers, and cosmetic bonding. The type of restoration used generally depends on the type and extent of the damage.
Eliminates Gum Recession
Gum recession occurs when your gums pull away from the tooth roots in response to plaque buildup along the gum line. This can make your teeth look abnormally large and it can also cause tooth sensitivity. Receding gums can also be caused by gum disease, which is especially common in individuals over the age of 60. Depending on how severe your gum recession is, your cosmetic dentist may recommend a gum graft to cover exposed roots and promote new gum growth. Gum grafts are also used to help improve the appearance of the teeth by making the gum line more even.
Stains on the teeth are another major indicator of age since they make the teeth appear dull and less vibrant. While the teeth will naturally become more yellow over time as a result of thinning enamel, they can also become tinted by foods, beverages, medications, and improper oral hygiene. Luckily, professional teeth whitening procedures offer an easy, fast and effective way to remove years of stains. However, some stains are resistant to the products used in whitening treatments. In these cases, your cosmetic dentist may recommend having porcelain veneers placed instead.