Teeth are amazing. They help you chew food, they let out a laugh, and even form your smile. But did you know that teeth change with age? As you grow older, your teeth will change in shape and color.
So how do teeth change with age? This transition begins in your teens and early twenties. At this point in your life, teeth are growing to their final shape. Once they have reached this point, you will never eat the same way again.
The adult set is somewhat different from your baby teeth in a few key ways:
The number of teeth: You will lose your baby teeth, but you’ll never lose all of your adult teeth. Adults develop about six more permanent teeth than babies do. In total, you get 32.
The color: Baby teeth are usually whiter than adult teeth, especially molars. Adult teeth may not grow in white because they don’t come in contact with food as often.
Stronger enamel: Baby teeth have high mineral content, but as you age, your enamel hardens, and the structure of your teeth becomes stronger.
The placement: Adult teeth can shift slightly, so be sure to re-evaluate the color and shape of your teeth every six months.
The Edges: Baby teeth don’t have grooves for your tongue to grip. Adult teeth will have these grooves, so it’s essential to maintain healthy gums.
Thicker dentin: Dentin is the layer that gives your teeth strength. It is thicker in adults, so they can handle the forces of grinding and chewing with less risk of fracture.
By adulthood, your teeth will take on the shape you have created for them with repeated biting and chewing. They are affected by everyday habits such as drinking coffee, tea or red wine. They are also affected by smoking and other habits.
With the arrival of wisdom teeth, this is the last addition of teeth you will get to replace a set of baby teeth.
Teeth in Old Age: Changes in Adulthood
Starting in your late 30s or early 40s, teeth begin to change in shape and color. Cavities (tooth decay) increase with the weakening of gums, often caused by lack of brushing. At the same time, there is a noticeable loss of mineral content in teeth because of increased consumption of sugar and processed foods.
You’ll probably notice these other adult changes:
The enamel will lose its gloss and become more transparent. The enamel can be easily chipped because of the loss of gloss.
The dentin layer will become thinner. A thinner dentin can result in more sensitivity to hot and cold foods, particularly the liquids that create those sensations.
The gum line can recede, exposing more of the tooth’s root. This increases the risk of cavities and infection.
The crowns of adult teeth are more likely to become discolored. A common culprit is root canal therapy, which can cause the tooth’s crown to take on a gray hue. The crown of the tooth may also lose its color because of damage from injuries or decay.
If you are concerned about changes in your teeth, you should connect with our doctors at New Hyde Park Dental. We can either monitor the condition of your teeth or provide treatment to restore them back to their natural color and shape.
Contact us to schedule an examination. We look forward to hearing from you!