You might think that dentures are only for older people, but that isn’t completely true. Tooth loss and dental problems are a fact of life for people of all ages, and dentures may become something you have to deal with sooner than expected.
What Are Dentures?
Let’s start by taking a closer look at dentures. Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that you can remove and put back in as needed. Contrary to popular belief, there is not one single type of dentures. In fact, there is a wide variety of denture types and they can be customized to your unique dental needs. While some people need a full set of dentures, others may only need a partial set. Your dentist can tell you what your specific needs are and whether it’s time to explore your options for a full or partial set.
Signs You May Need Dentures
That said, there are symptoms you may notice that can clue you in to the possibility that dentures may be in your future.
Gum inflammation. Gum inflammation may be a sign of (or precursor for) periodontitis, which is a severe gum infection that damages the supporting structures of your teeth. Untreated, this can lead to tooth loss.
Advanced tooth decay. A cavity here or there isn’t seriously detrimental to your overall oral health — as long as you promptly address the issue. However, a cavity that goes unnoticed or neglected has the ability to significantly impact the health of your tooth and can ultimately result in tooth loss.
Pain. Dental pain isn’t normal (especially unrelenting pain with no end in sight). This type of pain should always be evaluated by a qualified dentist. Pain can indicate a wide variety of oral health issues, some of which can lead to a changing smile and tooth loss.
What to Expect With Dentures
As mentioned above, dentures aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to missing teeth. They are always custom-made to work with your smile. And while they do take some getting used to, modern dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.
Taking care of your dentures. Dentures should be handled with care. Brush them daily to remove food and plaque, and brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning before putting your dentures in. Don’t let them dry out — placing them in a denture solution or plain water while you’re not wearing them should help keep them in good shape. See your dentist at least annually, and if something breaks, chips, cracks or becomes loose, don’t attempt to fix them yourself — always see your dentist in these cases.
You may or may not need dentures at some point in your life, and it could be earlier or later in life – it all depends on your personal situation and overall oral health. If you have questions or concerns about the health of your mouth or teeth, be sure to schedule an appointment with us to get the care you need.