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Your Teeth Age Too!

Older Woman Smiling

Special Concerns for Older Adults

Along with those gray hairs and inevitable smile lines, your mouth undergoes natural changes over the years, as well. Among them:

Cutting edges of teeth are worn flat by chewing or grinding.

Remember to keep regularly scheduled hygiene appointments to check for cavities. Consider dental sealants to prevent decay, or a nighttime mouthguard if you experience grinding (bruxism).

Jawbones supporting teeth or dentures can shrink by as much as two-thirds!

Loss of bone mass is a fact of aging, especially in women. When teeth are missing, osteoporosis (bone thinning) is accelerated. A diet rich in calcium (milk, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits) can help put the brakes on bone loss.

Tooth enamel becomes thinner, more brittle, more translucent.

There are many ways to strengthen a damaged or compromised tooth. Bonding, porcelain veneers, or crowns can all provide structural support and repair imperfections. Discolored or stained teeth can also be whitened!

Xerostomia (pronounced zero-stomia), or “dry mouth,” affects people of a certain age.

This can be a problem because lack of saliva can increase susceptibility to infection, decay, and gum disease. Dry mouth can also interfere with chewing, swallowing, even speaking. Xerostomia can be caused by prescriptions such as sedatives, heart and blood pressure medications, and others. Radiation therapy has the same effect as well.

If you’ve got chronic dry mouth, consider saliva substitutes, sugarless gum, or sugarless lemon drops. You may want to consult your doctor.

About Alan Limbird, DDS

Dr. Alan Limbird graduated from the University of California, San Francisco in 1983, in the top 10% of his class. He immediately entered into a residency at Loma Linda University in General Dental Practice. After completing his residency in 1984, he joined a dental practice in Ukiah which he owned and operated for 30 years. At Limbird Dentistry, Dr. Limbird offered his patients the highest quality treatment using state of the art dental technology to create beautiful smiles. Dr. Limbird sold his Ukiah practice in November 2014 and continues to work part-time with the new owners. In April 2017, Dr. Limbird joined Dr. James Hooper’s thriving dental practice in Fort Bragg. Dr. Limbird is excited to be offering dental services to his new patients on the coast. With the new Solea Dental Laser, he can offer an even higher level of care and technology than ever before. Dr. Limbird strives to stay on the cutting edge of dental technology. While working part-time for two years, he filled his free time by attending many dental education courses to fine tune his skills and learn new ones. Recent courses include: Oral Surgery, extractions, bone grafting, implant placement, implant restoration and extensive training with Dental Lasers. These skills will be put to good use in his Fort Bragg office since there are no dental specialists in the area. Dr. Limbird has been using Dental Lasers for over 20 years. Lasers have helped him to provide a higher level of service and excellence to his patients than was previously possible. His most recent technology purchase is the new Solea Carbon Dioxide Dental Laser. With this new laser, Dr. Limbird can prepare and place nearly all of your fillings comfortably and efficiently with NO SHOTS and NO PAIN! No longer do our patients need to fear going to the dentist. Dr. Limbird also has extensive training in Cosmetic Dentistry. He works with only the best dental laboratories and uses the highest quality materials to give you the best smile possible! Dr. Limbird and his wife, Laura, have always loved spending time on the Mendocino Coast. They now live in Mendocino full time and are pleased to be a part of the coastal community.

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