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Your teeth can go through a midlife crisis as well! 

Although there is no biological age for the end of youth, exceed 40 or going into the 50s is coupled with a period of questioning and change of perspective to life.

The experts in psychology and psychoanalysis Daniel Levinson and Erik Erikson were the first to associate the concept of the crisis of the 40s with psychology, theorising about the discomfort caused in this stage. Although their proposals have aged, the truth is that there are a series of physical changes that directly affect the psychological stability of those who go through these ages.

Undoubtedly, a determining factor for age to become central at this time is the change that the body experiences. Weight gain, wrinkles, grey hair, increased fatigue, baldness and, although less talked about it, the wear of the teeth and the increased risk of oral diseases. So that the latter do not contribute to physical and mental deterioration, it is best to pay attention and take care a little more.

The teeth also age

 Yes, the denture is affected by the passage of time, even if one is orthodox in oral hygiene. There will be natural factors that wear it and others of which we will be directly responsible. The passage of time or the food we consume contribute to the natural wear and tear of the teeth. If we add to this the intake of me-dications, bad habits such as smoking or suffering from diseases or pathologies such as bruxism, this wear in-creases. The layer of ivory that surrounds the teeth, known as dentine, is also impaired over time. Its volume increases and its colour varies, which results in a darkening of teeth so common with increasing age.

In 2011, researchers from the Swedish University of Malmo published the results of a study carried out through gypsum molds of the jaws of the same dental students at their 20, 30 and 60 years. “We found that during those 40 years the jaw had less and less space for the teeth,” said Lars Bondemark, professor of Orthodontics at the institution. The reduction varies between individuals, and can cause dental crowding. Hence, many middle-aged people notice not only the movement of the teeth, but the worsening of their dental aesthetics and bite, or the appearance of decay when generating areas where the plaque accumu-lates.

When you reach 40, the gums tend to retract, that is, to increase the visible space of the roots of the teeth. This implies a greater dental sensitivity to changes in temperature. Although this retraction is moderate and should not significantly affect it, if it is complemented by an infection it can cause other disorders of greater severity such as periodontal disease, infection of the tissues that hold the teeth and con-sequently the damage in the bones that hold them. For Víctor Cubillo, medical director of the Artedental clinic, it is “fundamental to make a regular visit to the dentist”. It is a disease that, “in its most serious states, can cause the loss of teeth, and hygiene should be increased”. Other factors that also favour the appearance of this pathology are smoking or diabetes.

Middle age is accompanied in many cases by an economic improvement after years of work (if money allows it); and the approach of having children. In the case of preg-nant women, the risk of suffering gingivitis (inflamma-tion of the tissues of the mouth) increases, and therefore have to exercise extreme hygiene. On the contrary, if what is experienced is andropause or menopause, the hormonal changes associated with the aging of men and women, the imbalance between the formation of new bone cells and the elimination of old ones causes the reduction of bone mass, and therefore the weakening of the denture.

From the Artedental clinic, located in Puerto de la Cruz, they indicate a series of recommendations to make the natural changes in the denture more bearable with the passage of time and offer advice in the case of expe-riencing the aforementioned pathologies and disorders.

“The first and most important is the regular visit to the dentist, at least once a year,” they stress. It is a preventive measure that allows the detection of problems with time and thus prevent their advance, as in the case of caries or inflammation of the gums. The regular cleanings will also help to eliminate the accumulated plaque and avoid major problems.

“Hygiene on the part of patients is also fundamental,” they continue. “Brushing should be done three times a day, especially before going to bed.” In the case of carrying orthodontics or similar, it will be necessary to extend it and practise it after each intake. This cleaning can always be supplemented with dental floss. Associated with good cleaning, they recommend “reducing or regulating the consumption of sugar, which directly affects the appearance of caries and infections derived from them”.

Also, “increase the consumption of vitamins A, E and C” to strengthen the oral mucosa that protects the teeth, present in fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, seeds, citrus, spinach or nuts.”

And finally, in the case of suffering the retraction of the gums and the increase in sensitivity, it would be ne-cessary to “use special brushes for this and tooth-pastes that are not aggressive”. The hormonal changes can lead to reduction of the gums or bruxism, and both should be treated by professionals to avoid major problems such as periodontal disease or gingivitis. In the case of suffering, extreme hygiene and care should be taken.