Apart from major impact events that severely damage most or all of the natural tooth structures, the common causes of widespread tooth loss are highly preventable. Those who practice good self-care and who are diligent about scheduling routine dental visits are often able to avoid the need for dentures entirely. Unfortunately, however, nearly 25 percent of people who are over the age of 60 require artificial teeth. Following are some ways to determine whether or not dentures are right for you.
The Magnitude of Your Tooth Loss
If you’re missing two or more teeth, you may be operating under the mistaken assumption that your remaining tooth structures are perfectly capable of compensating for this loss. In reality, however, untreated tooth loss can greatly increase your likelihood of needing dentures by subjecting the teeth you still have to additional stress. This can create cracks and stress fractures that allow harmful bacteria in. Thus, although you might not need dentures right now, you’ll probably need them in the future if you don’t seek timely treatment.
You Have Severe Gum Disease
The majority of people who experience widespread tooth loss do so as the result of unchecked gum disease. If your gums are constantly sore and inflamed, or if they bleed whenever you brush or floss them, this is a sure sign that you have either gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Once the soft tissues in your mouth are compromised by infection, your tooth structures can begin to loosen, shift out of their natural positions, and even fall out.
You’ve Lost Significant Bone Mass
Deterioration of the jawbone is another common cause of widespread tooth loss, and a good indicator that dentures might be right for you. As the jawbone deteriorates, this structure becomes less able to support the titanium posts that are required for dental implant procedures. As such, this form of tooth replacement will gradually become a less and less accessible option.
You’re Constantly Contending with Digestive Issues
If you’ve lost a number of your natural teeth, having the entire smile replaced with both upper and lower dentures will boost your confidence, fill your face back out, and give you a stronger and far more youthful-looking profile. It’s important to note, however, that the need for dentures is never just an aesthetic one. Widespread tooth loss will have a significant impact on both your chewing and talking abilities. Thus, if you’re missing teeth and are constantly suffering from indigestion as a result, you definitely need to consult with a dentist about having a tooth replacement procedure performed.