Do Teeth Chip with Age?

It is a rather common experience to find yourself with a chipped tooth, following traumas of various origins. How should we behave in these cases? Going to the dentist as soon as possible is essential to prevent further damage from developing on the affected tooth.

Why do we end up with a chipped tooth?

The causes that lead to a chipped tooth are different and can vary according to age. The most frequent causes can be determined by accidental trauma such as falls or blows to the face or by chewing foods that are too hard.

However, the causes can also be divided by age group:

* children can chip one or more teeth while playing, especially outdoors; just think of falls from slides or swings. Even gnawing on objects, such as a pen, can affect the integrity of a tooth
* adults incur this risk during sporting activity. A fall during any activity or in contact sports practiced without the appropriate protections.
* the elderly have greater risks, since in old age the teeth are more fragile
* even if you suffer from bruxism, you may run the risk of chipping a tooth as it is weakened by pre-existing abrasions.

Why can teeth chip more easily with age?

As we get older, the following changes occur in our bodies:
* Our bones become less strong and less dense.
* Our immune system may weaken. This means that infections can occur more often. Also, healing may take longer.
* Our fabrics become less elastic and thinner.
* Our cells are renewed more slowly.

These changes affect the bone and tissue in the mouth. This increases the risk of suffering from oral diseases in later years. Common oral health problems in older people can contribute to the fragility of their teeth, thus increasing the risk of chipping or breaking. A few of these are listed below.

Dry mouth

The elderly have a higher risk of dry mouth. Dry mouth in older people is often caused by age, certain health problems, and medication use. Saliva plays a very important role in keeping our teeth healthy. It protects your teeth from decay and decay and ensures that your gums are healthy.

When your salivary glands stop making enough saliva, you may be at risk of:
* Mouth sores
* Thrush (yeast infection)
* Caries
* Gum disease
* Problems with swallowing, chewing, and tasting

A dry mouth can also allow mouth bacteria to grow and accumulate. This can also accelerate – and increase – your risk of tooth decay and breakage. There are also are several medical conditions that affect the elderly that can be major causes of dry mouth, such as diabetes and cancer.

Gum problems

Many seniors have receding gums. This is a condition in which gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, exposing the root -- or base -- of the tooth. This creates a good environment for bacteria to grow and cause decay and inflammation. A lifetime of hard brushing can cause gums to recede. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a more common cause of gum recession.


Cavities are extremely common in the elderly, in part because a large number of adults today keep their natural teeth for life. Because a large number of older people experience gum recession, cavities tend to develop at the roots of the teeth. If teeth are weakened by cavities, they are more likely to chip and break.

It is important as you age to continue receiving regular dental care. Your dentist should be a vital part of your whole self health care routine- every bit as vital as your medical doctor.

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