5 Signs You May Need Dentures
Did you know that dentures are more common than you would expect? According to a survey reported by Fixodent Beauty & Aging, around 20 million women over age 40 use partial or full dentures. Also, according to research published in The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the number of American adults who need dentures is likely to increase from 33.6 million in 1991 to 37.9 million in 2020.
So what’s the good news about this? Well, dental experts say that you can still keep dentures out of your future.
Frank Tuminelli, Vice President of the American College of Prosthodontists and Director of Graduate Prosthodontics at the New York Hospital in Queens said, “Tooth loss does not happen overnight. Dentures are not inevitable for the majority of the population…IF they practice good oral care at home, such as flossing and brushing properly, and having regular dental checkups.”
Here are 5 signs that dentures may be in your future:
1. You never visit a dentist
Everyone should visit their dentist regularly, at least once per year–even children. Only 43% of Americans visit their dentist yearly according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotions. If possible, visit your dentist twice per year to keep gum disease and tooth decay out of your life. Remember that your oral health is in your hands.
2. Swollen and bleeding gums
These are the classic symptoms of gum inflammation and periodontal disease (bone loss). Approximately 70% of adult tooth loss is caused by gum disease, which affects three out of four people, according to AGD. Luckily, gum disease does not mean you’re going to need dentures. But if left untreated, gum disease can eventually turn into bone loss. With no bone support, teeth fall out, which can lead to widespread tooth loss, and eventually leave you with dentures. If you catch these signs early, your dentist can help you restore your teeth so you can keep your natural smile.
3. Wiggly teeth and wider gaps between the teeth
Do your teeth shift position or have you noticed sudden spaces between your teeth? Bone loss caused by gum disease may be the problem. “Periodontal or gum disease is what we call a silent killer because you can’t see it,” says Dr. Jahangiri. “So it can progress heavily without your knowing it.” Loose teeth can be a sign of advanced gum disease.
Ouch! Severe pain is also one of the signs that decay has progressed so much that it has already attacked the nerve in the center of the tooth. If detected early, tooth decay can be treated with a simple filling. If too late, you’re talking root canal or extraction.
5. A couple of teeth are missing
If you somehow lose your top or bottom front tooth, you need a dentist pronto! According to Dr. Jahangiri, “Fewer teeth are doing all the work. So there is a greater chance of losing more teeth. It’s a domino effect.” And a lot of Americans can prove that! According to a 2010 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a shocking 27% of Adults 65 years and older have already lost ALL of their natural teeth! So if you happen to lose a tooth, visit your dentist ASAP! “People who have lost more than two or three teeth should seek some sort of prosthesis,” says Dr. Jahangiri. “Otherwise the pressure on the remaining teeth will be too strong.”