Put simply, dentures are the stereotypical ‘false teeth’. We all remember the old comedy TV shows and movies depicting unnatural and loose dentures, false teeth falling out when actors yawn etc!
In actual fact, full dentures are not always comfortable, especially the lower jaw teeth. Partial dentures and implant supported dentures are much better.
Nonetheless, most people think dentures are for ‘other people’ – namely, those people who never really looked after their teeth at all.
But in reality, there may already be signs that you need dentures, if not today, then at some point in the near or distant future. Let’s explore some of the main ones:
1. Infrequent visits to the Dentist
Dentists are not just for fixing problems. Those who regularly visit the dentist simply for a checkup are more likely to have a developing problem spotted and fixed early before real damage or dental disease is caused.
2. Bad Teeth
Some people always keep their mouth closed for those smiley Facebook photos, and it’s likely that’s because their teeth are damaged or discoloured. But maybe you also have some loose teeth, or gaps are getting wider. This could be a sign of periodontal disease, leading to tooth loss.
3. Sore Gums and Teeth
If your gums always seem sore, swollen and red and your toothpaste is tinged with blood when you spit, this sort of gum disease could lead to permanent damage. You might also have sore teeth, which could mean normal decay has become a pulp infection, potentially requiring extraction.
4. Lost teeth
If you’ve already lost teeth, for whatever reason, dentures could be one solution. An Implant will be another option and solution to a lost tooth. It’s probably a great time to discuss all possible solutions: dentures, implants, bridges etc with your Dentist.
If you think you’re heading down the road to dentures, you may have some additional questions. Here’s some answers to the most common ones:
Question 1. Will smoking cause me to need dentures?
In short, the answer could clearly be yes. We all know that smoking is bad for your health generally, including a high risk of oral cancer, but it’s also bad for your teeth.
Beyond those typical smoker’s ‘yellow teeth’, smoking causes more plaque and tartar to build up, increasing not only the risk of decay but also gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
Not only that, if you do need a tooth removed, smoking can affect the healing process, while the chance that other dental implant procedures will succeed is reduced in smokers.
Question 2. Should I drink water with fluoride?
Yes! Australians are lucky that almost all of the tap water contains fluoride, which – as those tubes declare – is a key ingredient of toothpaste.
Nonetheless, some people actually say fluoride in the water is not good for you, although decades of research says otherwise.
Water fluoridation doubles your chance of minimising tooth decay, although it’s no substitute for brushing and getting dental checkups.
Question 3. Is it possible to keep all my teeth?
It’s true that, after those baby teeth are replaced, there are no third chances – these are your teeth for life. But increases in dental hygiene and practices mean that more and more people are keeping all of their teeth all the way into old age.
Of course, your chances of keeping all of your teeth – and therefore vastly improving your quality of life as you get older – depend on learning and maintaining great hygiene practices and visiting dentists not only when trouble strikes but also to catch problems early during routine checkups.