Dr. Gibbs and his staff recently attended three days of cosmetic dentistry lectures as part of the Chicago Dental Society Mid-Winter Meeting. One portion of the meeting addressed the question: “What makes a person’s smile look older?”, and what can be done to improve upon the condition. Here’s a brief checklist to check yourself:
1) As a person ages, the teeth increasingly become naturally worn. The rounded corners seen during youth become angled and sharp. The teeth look shorter and squarer when a person smiles.
2) When the edges of the teeth wear, the enamel eventually wears off from the biting edges exposing the yellow dentin. At this point the enamel becomes increasingly weak and the edges of the teeth may start to fray off, becoming rough. This leads to the profile becoming irregular.
3) Also from everyday use and biting on hard objects, “craze” lines may occur. Many of these reflect light differently and can also stain.
4) The gums may discolor if inflammation is present from improper home care or defective restorations. If gum inflammation persists, dark “holes” may occur along the gum line as the gums shrink back, or yellow root surfaces may appear.
5) The teeth may become discolored or yellowed internally. Old tooth colored fillings may also become stained and antiquated silver fillings or unaesthetic crowns may begin to corrode and darken the teeth.
6) As you age, the lower teeth in the mouth become more visible, especially while speaking. This is yet another reason to keep your teeth as healthy and cosmetically attractive as possible.
Of course, there are a myriad of new alternatives for these maladies. Restorations are much more esthetic nowadays, and teeth can be lightened or restored to a more youthful appearance with bonding, esthetic crowns, or veneers. Better hygiene care is available for the gums. Nightguards can help prevent future wear and chipping to the edges. If you want to remove years from your smile, let us know!
Dr. Gibbs serves the communities of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lombard, Carol Stream, Naperville, and Lisle, Addison, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Glendale Heights, Elmhurst, Roselle, Bartlett, West Chicago, Woodridge, Bloomingdale, Schaumberg, Wood Dale, Geneva, St. Charles, Warrenville, Bolingbrook, Westmont, Winfield, Villa Park, and the Chicago area. See the website at SmileGlenEllyn.com for more information on dentistry and your health!