Quality & Affordable Dentistry in Malaysia

Smiling As We Grow Older in Selangor, Malaysia

Posted by dentist3 in Dental Articles | 0 comments

As we grow older our faces change. Gravity takes over. Between age 30 and age 70, we all experience significant facial changes that occur naturally because of gravity.

Your upper lip gets longer. Your lower lip gets more flaccid. You start to show less upper teeth, but more of your lower teeth.

As we age, we get wrinkles. Our face starts to show the crow’s feet at the eyes and laugh lines around the face. We can get brown spots. Our skin can lose some of its elasticity. All of these combined can amplify each other.

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Your smile can further amplify these aging effects or make them seem negligible. Often those who’ve had teeth removed but not sufficiently replaced, get more wrinkles. A lot more wrinkles. They look older – far older than their natural age.

We’ve seen many patients come to our clinics who tell me that they’re 55- years-old. A lot of these folks look like they’re 75-years-old. 

Many times they’ve come because they know they’re in trouble.

Often they’ve put off dental care and the situation is now more than serious. It is dire. (We can still help change things dramatically for the good.) Losing teeth can accelerate your aging. 

Loss of teeth without proper replacement can dramatically change the way you look. The changes in diet due to impaired or altered chewing ability further advance the aging process, often making one look ten to twenty years older than actual age.

You might be surprised at one of the main culprits that accelerates aging the back teeth – also known as the molar teeth.

The molar teeth do the majority of your chewing. Many people end up losing their molar teeth when they’re younger and never have them replaced. While the teeth themselves may no longer bother you, the adjacent teeth begin a silent migration, moving into angled positions that promote gum disease, decay and bite problems. All of this comes without pain – at first. 

The lack of symptoms can con you into thinking everything is OK. Just because you don’t feel any symptoms does not mean that your dentist can’t see any signs of problems. The dentist usually will.

When you try to chew without molar teeth, it means you have to chew on your front teeth. Front teeth were not designed by Mother Nature to function as grinding teeth. They were designed to function more like the way a pair of scissors works. That is, to cut. Front teeth take the first bite out of something and smile, all the rest of the work of chewing goes to the back teeth.

This is a very different function than grinding. Think of it like this: what happens to a pair of scissors you use to grind up anything? The edges are ruined.

The same thing can happen to your front teeth when you have insufficient back teeth for chewing. Counting on your front teeth for chewing and grinding your food causes them to wear out far faster and can completely change your smile.

You need back teeth to preserve the shape and good looks of your front teeth. Few people know that losing one’s back teeth can cause the front teeth to wear out before their time. Now you do.

The Smile-Dominant Face

The good news comes in the form of the “smile-dominant” face. The smile dominant-face consists of a smile that is so big, bright and beautiful that it often makes facial wrinkles and blemishes fade  into insignificance.

The smile-dominant face looks younger. It looks healthier, more vibrant.

A patient of mine recently said, “This is better than plastic surgery.”

By creating a smile-dominant face we’re able to take the emphasis off of the skin, wrinkles and blemishes that come with aging and deliberately place even more emphasis onto the teeth and smile. And when you have a great smile, you want to show it off, right?

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On the other hand….

Do you hide your smile?

Many folks do hide their smiles. What does hiding your smile do to other people that look at you? They look at what’s presented to them. They look at the skin. They look at the wrinkles, blemishes, lines and spots.

The smile-dominant face focuses people you meet away from the blemishes, wrinkles and signs of aging onto your gorgeous smile. That’s where they normally want to go anyway. Wouldn’t you rather have that, too?

Living Longer, Living Better in Selangor, Malaysia

When you keep your teeth healthy and restore them to health, function and beauty and keep them that way, you very well may live longer.

This has been known empirically through our experience for many years as dentists. It’s now being proven by science.

I run into a lot of aging people who don’t restore and maintain their teeth because they assume they won’t need them. After all, they are getting older. We are mortals after all. They don’t think they will be around to use them, so why invest in their dental health?

This is mistaken thinking that simply comes from not knowing any better.

One problem with planning for the obsolescence of your teeth based on aging is that it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By simply not having your teeth, you’re more likely to have a shortened life span simply because of poor nutrition and an altered ability to fight off disease and disability.

Another problem is the undesirable situation in which you outlive your teeth.

This means a lessened quality of life at the very time where quality of life is most important to you.

Guessing how long you will live to determine whether or not to get your teeth in the best shape possible is a very big gamble that threatens you later on in life and robs your loved ones of the experience of you. Who wants to leave a legacy of toothlessness? Who wants to shorten their years needlessly? Your family and friends want you around to share in their lives.

Longer Life Spans

People are living longer. The speed with which longevity gains are being made is higher than it has ever been and increasing. In my opinion, people will, at some point, often live to see 120 years. How soon? I don’t know. But with the total amount of science and data doubling every five years, I expect we’ll see a steady increase in man’s longevity. Research on aging continues as society demands it.

So if we’re living longer, we need our teeth longer. Makes sense, right!

Interestingly, healthy, natural teeth could last up to a 150 year lifespan. So, that should give us some hint about what’s possible.

You probably don’t think about it, but how you look and interact with your children and grandchildren is part of the real legacy that you leave for them. Part of your legacy is how the people you love and who love you remember you.

Quite frankly, your smile can help you leave a legacy of cheer, love and joy.

When your family thinks of you, they can think of you as having that great gorgeous smile and a happy demeanor. That legacy can be a difference maker far into the future.

More than one grandparent has told me of an incident where a grandchild has made a comment like, “How come you can take your teeth in and out, grandma?”

Obviously, no parent or grandparent wants her child to think less of her because she is toothless. For many, this has been the deciding factor in the getting their teeth fixed.

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Worn Out Dentistry

A lot of the folks in the boomer age group, all 78 million of them, have old dentistry that has worn out. If you have dental work that is fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years old, you are going to need to have more work done. Don’t

kid yourself into thinking it won’t happen to you. It happens to everyone. It is just a matter of time. Old dark, stained or worn fillings will need replacement.

The larger and older the restorations, the more critical it is to be proactive in replacement. Leaving failing dentistry in place threatens the health of the teeth by increasing the likelihood of decay or infection into the nerve within the tooth.

How do you know if the aging dentistry situation has happened to you?

It starts with teeth becoming sensitive, stained, darker or worn. Often the teeth will have gum recession, causing teeth to look longer. Sometimes the old amalgam fillings are expanding silently, pulling away from the tooth structure, causing bacteria to leak into the teeth. Often, old fillings’ expansion will break teeth and needlessly cause pain and an increase in treatment needed, requiring a root canal or extraction. Much of this could be avoided by replacing worn out restorations before this happens to you. 

Doesn’t it make sense to prevent pain and increased dental expenses? You should check with your dentist to see when the right time is to replace old dentistry.

As you get older, you’re going to have to get new work done to restore the work done years ago to help you preserve your teeth. If you don’t, you could lose your teeth and the advantages of keeping them.

Living Differently Than Our Parents in Selangor, Malaysia

Boomers aren’t going to go gently into the night. Most want to lead full lives. Many are starting second careers. Some are returning to school. No one sees himself or herself in the human warehouse that so many nursing homes have become.

Who wants to become a burden on their loved ones? That just isn’t in your picture, right? Well, it could be in your future if you don’t actively work with a knowledgeable, experienced dentist to keep your dental health at its best.

Boomers don’t want to sit on a porch in a rocking chair, chomping their dentures together.

Healthy teeth can play a major role in giving you that quality and quantity of living that you’d like to have. If you can’t eat right, the quality of your life diminishes along with your health.

Besides, eating what you want comfortably is one of life’s true pleasures, wouldn’t you agree?

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