Do Your Teeth Get Bigger as You Get Older?

You have probably heard the old saying about someone being "long in the tooth" before. This phrase compares people with horses. Horses have teeth that continue growing throughout their lives, so you can estimate how old a horse is simply by observing how long its teeth are.

While this saying has become normalized in modern speech, the truth is that human teeth do not continue growing for all of one's life. What is true is that the teeth have a tendency to appear longer over the years. While teeth can appear longer, they are not actually growing in size. The change in appearance is due to several issues that typically come up as you get older.

Here is a look at some of these issues:

1. Gum recession

There are a handful of factors that can lead to a receding gum line. These include:

  • Brushing too hard

  • Grinding your teeth

  • Having too many dental treatments done

  • Trauma from an accident

2. Advanced gum disease

During the later stages of gingivitis, there is an infection of your bone structure and gums. This infection is known as periodontal disease. Without treatment, bacteria in your mouth will eventually begin to destroy the gum tissue and bone around your teeth, loosening it and exposing the root.

Gum disease is one of the most common dental issues. It is currently estimated that over 70 percent of people in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. Most people with gum disease are not even aware of it since it is easy to miss the symptoms of gingivitis. Still, gingivitis will eventually make your teeth appear longer if you do not get proper treatment.

Gum disease affects more than just your oral health. It also can lead to serious issues with your overall health including cardiovascular issues like heart disease. If you think you have gingivitis, go for a dental checkup as soon as possible.

Keeping your gum line and teeth healthy over the years

The best thing you can do to avoid having to deal with longer-looking teeth is to take proper care of your teeth and gums. Make it a habit to:

  1. Brush gently twice a day

  2. Floss daily

  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash

  4. Avoid sugary foods

  5. Try breaking bad habits like smoking or grinding your teeth

  6. Avoid missing dental appointments

  7. Consume food items that remineralize your teeth

Once upon a time, conventional thinking told us that receding gum lines and losing teeth were all part of the aging process. Thanks to breakthroughs in dental science, we now know that it is possible to keep your real teeth over the course of your natural life. To keep your teeth throughout your life, you need to properly take care of them, eat foods that provide valuable nutrients your teeth need and visit your dentist regularly.


Request an appointment in our Port Charlotte dental office here: Call us at (941) 893-4240 for more information from Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte.

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