It’s no secret that our bodies change as we age. And, as you might expect, our teeth are no different. Teeth, over time, can discolor, chip, break, and, in extreme cases, even fall out on their own! But, many are surprised to learn that teeth can actually MOVE as one ages.
A common question I hear from my patients is that, “My teeth seem to have gotten more crowded over the last few years – am I imagining that?” More often than not, they aren’t imagining anything. Their teeth have shifted over time, causing crowding, which makes proper oral hygiene even more challenging.
This shifting of teeth occurs for a variety of reasons, including:
- Bone loss around the teeth, resulting from periodontal/gum infection
- Tooth loss, which causes remaining teeth to fill in those spaces vacated by lost teeth
- Extreme biting forces pushing teeth out of alignment
Many often ask: “If I’m 60 years old, why does it matter if my teeth are getting crooked?” My answer is that misaligned teeth can cause several catastrophic dental problems, the most common of which are:
- Premature tooth wear, resulting in short, unattractive teeth
- An unbalanced bite, which can be damaging to affected teeth
- A lack of solid bone support between overly crowded teeth, potentially resulting in weak tooth support.
In my practice, I’m a huge proponent of making sure that my patients are educated about any and all issues that might affect their oral health, and tooth alignment has traditionally been an avenue that stops being discussed after adolescence. This approach, by and large, has caused many patients’ dental disease to “fall through the cracks,” often going unnoticed until it’s too late – when teeth break or some other irreversible process is initiated.
So, to better serve my patients, I’m welcoming an amazing orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Hodge, to my practice! Dr. Hodge, a native of Brazil, came to Arkansas as an exchange student in high school, where she met her future husband. She graduated from dental school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and then finished her education by completing a residency program in orthodontics. Dr. Hodge now lives in Little Rock with her husband and daughters, where she operates her private practice, Hodge Orthodontics
My approach is to offer comprehensive treatment whenever possible, and with the addition of Dr. Hodge to our team, we are able to offer an even more personalized level of care! Call today for a FREE consult with Dr. Hodge. Have a safe and happy summer!