Oral Health Advice

Every time I look in the mirror I get so depressed. I used to have beautiful white teeth. Now I am getting old and my teeth look so dingy. The beautiful white teeth are fading away. Why is this happening and what can I do about it?

There are many factors that can contribute to the graying or yellowing of your teeth. The enamel, or outer covering of the tooth, gets thinner with time so the yellow color of the underlying dentin shows through. The blood supply feeding the tooth and the water also diminishes and dries out the color in your tooth, darkening it. Acidic foods, a dry mouth, high sugar consumption, teeth grinding or bruxism and even bulimia can cause color changes in your teeth.

Acid reflux from stomach problems can wear away at tooth structure and, as the enamel wears away, the yellow dentin shows through.

There is even a deposition of more dentin with time, so this makes discoloration worse.

So what can be done? If your tooth enamel is still thick enough, you can try bleaching your teeth at your dentist office.

If you want even whiter teeth, you can have veneers made, which are like phony fingernails and fit over the outside of your teeth. Another, more involved, cosmetic procedure would be to have crowns placed over your cut down teeth.

So don’t give up just because you are getting older. Your beautiful smile can still be restored.

I fell on my face and my lip is swollen and my teeth hurt. How do I find out if my teeth are okay?

With trauma, a lot of problems can occur so you need to have everything in your mouth checked. If teeth are loose, they need to be tied together so they can heal and movement can be stopped. Your progress should be followed closely. It’s important to rule out the possibility that you may need root canal on a damaged tooth. Also, you should have a professional check for any gum or bone problems caused by a tooth or teeth shifting or moving as a result of your fall.

If you are basically healthy, your body will do a lot of healing on its own, but I encourage you to have your mouth examined and monitored very carefully.

Dr. Kessler’s office is located at 7400 N. Kendall Dr., directly across from Dadeland Mall, and he may be reached at 305-670- 3800 or online at Lkgums@aol.com or www.WeSaveSmiles.com.

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