Although we tend to believe that dentures are just an unfortunate byproduct of old age, the truth is that in most cases needing dentures is the result not only of a lifetime of poor dental hygiene and bad habits but also general medical conditions. Missing dentist’s appointments, not brushing or flossing regularly, and other unhealthy habits can all contribute to your chances of needing dentures later on in life.
Here are six signs that you may need dentures but remember to speak to your denture professional about any concerns that you may have – they are the most qualified person to help!
Untreated gum disease, such as gingivitis, can spell serious trouble for your dental health. The symptoms of gum inflammation include unpleasant breath, receding gums, and gums that are dark red and easily bleed during brushing or flossing.
The good news is that gingivitis is preventable – as long as you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and don't miss any dental appointments, you should be in the clear. Apart from poor oral hygiene, gingivitis can be caused by smoking, hormonal changes, poor diet, and even genetics. Considering that somewhere between 20 to 50 percent of the world's population is affected by gum disease, it's crucial to stay on top of your dental appointments so any symptoms can be caught and treated on time.
Caused by the irritation of the nerve inside the tooth, toothaches are another sign that you may need dentures to replace missing teeth . While there are several procedures to treat tooth pain before performing an extraction, there are instances when repairing the tooth is simply not practical nor effective.
This may happen in instances of advanced gum disease or when root canal therapy isn't an option. In case multiple teeth need to be extracted, the dentist may recommend replacing them with a partial denture.
If you’ve already lost several teeth and haven’t replaced them with a partial denture, you might find it difficult to eat and experience frequent indigestion. This is caused by an inability to chew the food well before swallowing, so you swallow larger bits of food that are harder for your stomach to digest.
It’s not uncommon for people who still have all of their front teeth to put off getting dentures because they don’t see it as a problem. However, missing teeth can lead to uncomfortable stomach issues, making it necessary to replace them.
Teeth play an essential role in speaking, so it’s no surprise that tooth loss can lead to speech issues. Losing the ability to speak properly can cause low self-esteem or make you want to avoid social settings where you need to meet new people who might not be aware of your speech problems.
Over time, missing teeth can lead to the sagging of the muscles in your face, which subtly changes your appearance. Although you might not think this is a problem now, sagging facial muscles can speed up aging and make you look older than you are.
A gap between the teeth, also known as diastema, is another indicator that you may need dentures. There are numerous causes of diastema, and not all of them require treatment.
However, if the widening gap between your teeth is caused by advanced gum disease, then it’s necessary to consult with your dentist about the best course of action.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
The thought of losing your teeth and replacing them with either a full or partial set of dentures can be nerve-wracking for many. But it’s important to remember that this is not something that happens in a few days – tooth loss is rather a result of years of poor dental hygiene and unhealthy habits such as smoking. So, if you want to minimize your chances of getting dentures one day, make sure to see your dentist regularly – and not just when you have a toothache!