As a dentures dentist, we know that few people ever consider life after losing teeth. Even fewer considered life with dentures. In fact in a recent survey more than 60% of the responders stated that they had never even considered or given serious thought to dentures. Most people are confident about the quality and health of their teeth. With over 97% of people now brushing their teeth at least once per day, it is understandable why so many people feel like they will never lose a tooth. While avoiding tooth loss is a great goal to work towards, most adults will experience some tooth loss in their lifetime. For example, you might be surprised to learn that around 20 million women, over the age of 40, wear dentures in the United States today. According to the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the number of people that will be wearing complete dentures will be around 37.9 million by 2020. While we strongly encourage all of our patients to take good care of their teeth, be careful what they bite down on and have a healthier diet, we also know that sometimes DNA or age just catches up with you.
Preventing tooth loss
Nobody suddenly needs dentures one morning. You will, almost, never wake up one morning with a gaping hole in your teeth and needing to come see the dentist for dentures. Instead, the way it usually works is that there are underlying symptoms, which people tend to ignore. Your body will tell you if you have an infection or gum disease, and give you the opportunity to come see us and have us fix the problem before it leads to tooth loss. Naturally the best way to avoid ever getting to that place is to be part of the 53% of Americans that make it a habit to visit the dentist at least twice each year. When you do this, we have an opportunity to catch any underlying problems before they fester too long and become severe. In between appointments, or if you are part of the 48% that doesn’t visit us regularly, there are a few signs to look for that may indicate an infection or diseases that require medical attention.
One of the most common, and often ignored, signs of gum disease is a loosening of teeth. Your teeth were never meant to be loose and when they start to shift inside your mouth of their own accord, this is an indicator of a deeper problem. Another indicator of gum disease is a toothache. While people do get toothaches from eating too much sweet, if you cannot control the toothache with over the counter medication, if it lasts longer than a day or two, or if it comes back frequently this could be an indicator of a deeper infection or gum disease. Since gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, these symptoms require immediate dental care.
While we will try to prevent tooth loss, if you do lose a tooth – we can help. We can create a comfortable set of dentures that will look natural and function perfectly, allowing you to smile with confidence.