Not everyone who wears partial dentures does so because of advancing age. Many adults have had teeth extracted because of decay or gum disease. Others have had one or more teeth knocked out in an accident or while playing their favorite sport. Not only does the unsightly gap caused by missing teeth often show when you smile but, from a medical standpoint, there is a couple of very good reasons to have them replaced. For example:
Reasons to replace missing teeth
All the bones in the body require stimulation to maintain density, which is why load-bearing exercises promote healthy bones. The bones in the mouth are no different. They depend on the stimulation provided by the action of the teeth to maintain their density. Without stimulation, the bone begins to deteriorate. In other words, missing teeth can significantly contribute toward bone loss.
Additionally, the teeth on either side of the gap lose some of their support and begin to lean toward the gap, which can lead to problems with one’s bite. Crooked teeth tend to be much harder to clean and, therefore, can be susceptible to decay. Thanks to modern technology replacing these missing teeth with partial dentures that look, feel, and function like your natural teeth is a relatively simple procedure. There is little doubt that dentures today are far more natural looking and much more comfortable than those that older generations are wearing. Additionally, the fact that people can remove and clean them is often a plus. However, the fact remains that, contrary to what many people seem to believe, dentures are not made to last forever.
The very fact that any dentures, be they partial or full, are removable, means that they can and do loosen over time. Nobody wants to worry perpetually about when their dentures are going to pop loose which, as we all know, is bound to happen at the most inopportune moments possible. Also, it is well to remember that dentures are supposed to have a tight seal and, when they loosen, food tends to collect under the denture that will, obviously, increase the risk of a bacterial infection.
Signs you may need to replace your partial dentures
To avoid this situation, it is better to be aware of the early symptoms of ill-fitting dentures and have them re-lined or, if necessary, replaced before they become a problem. Some of the signs you need to look out for are
- Sore, swollen or red areas of your gum underneath the denture
- Whistling, or clacking noises when you chew
- Difficulty chewing
- Painful Mouth Sores
- Problems speaking or enunciating certain words Slurred speech
- Mouth Infections
- Frequent headaches
While there is no question that dentures wear down in time, it is more than likely that the reason behind them loosening is not that they have changed shape, but that the bones in the jaw have. As we age all our bones begin to shrink. While this may not be a significant problem with the rest of our body, partial dentures are made to fit so precisely, that any changes in the underlying bony ridge can cause uncomfortable changes in how they fit and feel. This is why we recommend that you have your dentures inspected at least annually and replaced every 5-6 years or so.
Call (505) 634-5029 to schedule an appointment with Roderick A. Garcia, DMD PC in our Albuquerque dental office.
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