Learn More From Our Elmhurst Dentist About How Smiles Change With Age

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on May 31, 2022

Just as our hair changes with age, our smiles can start to look and feel different the older we get. This short article from our Elmhurst dentists is all about ways that your smile can start to show its age…


It is very common for patients to find that their smiles look darker or yellower as time goes on. Some of this can be attributed to environmental stains—many foods and beverages, and especially tobacco products, can discolor teeth. At the same time, your enamel is slowly wearing away and becoming thinner. This allows more and more of the yellow dentin layer (which is just below the enamel) to show through to the surface of your smile.


It is due to the fact that most of our tooth layers do not contain nerves that we are able to eat, drink, and speak without discomfort. There are, however, dental nerves in the core of the tooth, in the dental pulp. These nerves send pain signals to the brain when irritants and bacteria are able to reach them. If your dental enamel has become much thinner, or your gum tissue has started to pull away from the roots of your teeth, you will likely experience discomfort as a result. 


Keep in mind that as enamel thins over time, it becomes less and less effective at protecting your sensitive inner tooth layers. It is easier for oral bacteria to infect thin enamel, for example, compared to thick and healthy enamel. Patients with weakened dental enamel are also more likely to develop cracked or chipped teeth in the event of an accident or dental trauma.

No one can completely avoid the effects of time, but there are steps we can take to improve the appearance and the functionality of your smile. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions you may have and to share some personalized recommendations on refreshing aging teeth. Give us a call to get started!