Is it Time? The Top Signs You Might Need Dentures
Is it time for dentures? Or, will you need them someday? Read on to learn the top signs you might need dentures.
In the United States, more than 36 million people are missing teeth. Only 10% of people who suffer from tooth loss don’t wear dentures. Will you be one of the 36 million?
Did you grow up with a parent or grandparent who entertained the family by removing their teeth? It was funny back then but you’re older now and you haven’t exactly been the poster child for healthy teeth.
Now you’re wondering whether you’ll follow in Pop’s footsteps.
Aside from the obvious—your dentist said so—here are the top signs you could one day need dentures.
You Forget About Check-Ups
Have you wondered why your dentist sends you the cute little reminder card every six months? You know, the one you put on the bottom of the mail pile?
Turns out the American Dental Association and your dentist are onto something. Regular dental visits help to keep your teeth healthy.
Seeing a dentist twice each year means small issues don’t grow into major dental problems. Your dentist can’t stop decay from progressing if you only visit every few years. In fact, if you ignore decay long enough, you could end up losing teeth.
If you miss a regular exam here and there, get back on track now. If you continue avoiding the dentist, you could be a candidate for dentures.
Forgetting about your dental visits also sets you up for periodontal disease.
Bleeding Gums and Dentures
If your gums bleed, you may have gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, you could already be suffering from advanced periodontal disease.
Anytime you notice red swollen gums, it indicates inflammation. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It’s caused by a bacterial infection. Untreated, gingivitis usually advances to the more serious periodontitis.
If your gums bleed when you brush and floss or look like they’ve pulled away from your teeth, it’s serious. When you ignore either gingivitis or periodontal disease, you risk losing teeth. You also risk bone loss.
With early and aggressive treatment, your dentist can help treat these conditions. You may even keep your teeth. If not, you could end up entertaining your grandkids by showing them your removable teeth.
The Toothache That Won’t Stop
Pain or soreness in or around a tooth is unpleasant, to say the least. One common cause of toothache is decay. If you have a cavity and the decay has reached the nerve, your dentist can usually fix it with a simple filling.
Extensive decay isn’t always taken care of so easily and sometimes results in an extraction. If you have decay in several teeth, your dentist may suggest removing multiple teeth.
A toothache isn’t always caused by cavities, though.
Sensitive teeth, usually caused by exposed dentin, often result in tooth pain. A cracked tooth causes pain as well.
If you’re a grinder, meaning you clench and grind your teeth together, you’ll likely end up with tooth pain. Called bruxism, the grinding can result in chipped or broken teeth.
Chronic tooth pain doesn’t guarantee a life of wearing dentures, but ignoring it increases your risk.
Are You Missing Teeth?
It’s hard to ignore someone who’s missing teeth in the front of their mouth. Every time they smile, you notice the gap.
What isn’t as noticeable is when a person is missing teeth in the back part of their mouth. Most people can still smile and hide the fact that they’ve lost a back tooth or two. What they can’t hide is the difficulty they have chewing food.
If you’re missing even one tooth, you know what we’re talking about.
Aside from the drastic change in appearance missing teeth can cause, ignoring them affects your other teeth. Without support, those teeth shift. The result is a change in your bite, which usually means you can’t chew certain foods.
Imagine trying to chew a thick, juicy steak or a sweet crisp apple when you’re missing a crucial back tooth. Often, a person avoids foods they once considered favorites.
Dentures, in this case, may be the most practical option
Gaps Might Work for Celebrities
Have you noticed celebrities use their teeth as part of their branding package?
It’s not the ones who have fluorescent white teeth. We’re talking about people like actress Lauren Hutton and the signature gap in her front teeth. Or Kanye and his glimmering diamond grillz.
Gaps and other interesting ways of covering up dental problems work for people in the public spotlight. They don’t work so well for you and me.
Maybe you’ve always had a gap between teeth but it never bothered you. Lately, you’ve noticed the gap growing wider.
You might also have teeth that have been loose but not bothersome. Now they feel like they’ve shifted.
Loose and shifting teeth aren’t normal and neither are widening gaps. All these are symptoms of possible bone loss. As we mentioned earlier, bone loss can be a result of untreated gum disease.
Your dentist can make a collateral attack on the bone loss if started early enough. But there comes a point when bone loss is too severe, and even the most talented dentist can’t save the teeth.
At that point, you’ll likely have the partial denture conversation with your dentist.
Ready for a Visit with Your Dentist?
As you can see, dentures aren’t inevitable. You and your dentist can prevent many of the dental problems that lead to the need for false teeth.
Once you begin experiencing more serious issues such as bleeding gums, chronic tooth pain, loose or missing teeth, it may be time to discuss options with your dental team.
Ready to schedule a dentist visit? Contact us today and book your next dental appointment with a dental office that cares about you and your teeth.