Look15 Years Younger Just By Going to the Dentist
Excerpts from The Bottom Line Personal
Featuring Dr. Marvin A. Fier, DDS, FASDA, ABAD
Abnormal Jaw Position
Patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) will sometimes experience changes in the jaw joint that cause the chin and lower jaw to move to an abnormal position. This can distort the normal appearance of the face.
Solution: A night guard or a bite guard (aka splint) can be custom made by Dr. Fier.
If you are middle aged or older, you probably have one or more silver amalgam fillings. These don't last forever. The edges can open up and allow bacteria to get under the fillings. Also, the metal fillings in teeth can darken and appear as gray shadows that are visible through the tooth enamel, impairing an old and unattractive appearance.
Solution: Remove old fillings and replace them with nonmetal, tooth colored fillings.
Even if you don't break or "pop" a porcelain crown, it won't maintain its original appearance forever. For example, the gums often recede with age. This can produce a thin gray or black line between the crown and the gum.
Solutions: Replace the crown. A lower cost option is to use tooth-colored filling materials to fill the gap. It isn't as durable, or as attractive as a new crown, but it's a good choice for patients with limited funds.
You've probably heard the expression, "He/she is long in the tooth." Changes in the shape and health of the gums can make the teeth appear longer. Or they can make the gums disproportionately prominent. Either of these changes can compromise your appearance and make you look older.
Solution: A "gum lift," known technically as a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty. The dentist will use a laser and/or scalpel to give your gums a more even appearance that's in harmony with your face.
Poor Denture Fit
Even if your partial or complete dentures fit perfectly when they were new, they tend to become loose or misaligned as your mouth changes. It's normal for the gums and underlying bone to change over time. Poorly fitting dentures can sometimes give you jowls and wrinkled skin as your muscles work overtime to keep the dentures in place.
Solution: Ask your dentist to check the fit of your dentures. Most people find that it is worth replacing them every five or 10 years.