Do you think you’re taking great care of your teeth? You might be in for a surprise. There may be issues lurking beneath the surface that you are unaware of. But if you practice good dental hygiene, visit the dentist on a regular basis and eat a well balanced healthy diet, you will be able to hang on to your natural teeth for a long time.
If you have damaged teeth, such as fractured, chipped or broken, you need to go to your dentist as soon as you can. The damage could get worse or you could eventually get an infection. As a result, you would lose your tooth.
Losing teeth isn’t something that happens overnight unless of course, you are in a sport like boxing or ice hockey. Or you bite into something that breaks a tooth. Making sure you take care of your damaged teeth is essential to your oral health.
There is some good news for you. You can keep the possibility of dentures out of your future.
The Likelihood of Keeping Your Teeth
What is the likelihood that you will keep all your teeth? Here are five signs that you might need to get dentures at some point in your life.
- Not going to see the dentist every six months or by the recommendation from you dentist for you. A minimum of two visits per year is part of good dental hygiene. This will help you keep your teeth by getting a good thorough cleaning and checkup. By visiting the dentist regularly, they can catch small problems and deal with them at the onset. If your gums are tender, swollen, red or bleeding, you already have gingivitis which could lead into the advanced stages of periodontal disease. Once you contract periodontal disease, the issues have progressed to the point where you may have to get teeth removed; the first sign that you will need dentures. The dentist would rather your keep your own teeth. Make sure that you make your appointments with your dentist.
- If you are feeling loose or shifting teeth or the spaces between your teeth are getting wider, there may be the problem of bone loss. Periodontal disease is what dentists call the “silent killer” because you can’t see what is going on with your teeth on the surface. Things may look or feel fine, while underneath it all, you have problems. If you have loose teeth, they will need to be taken out. Then the need for dentures will become a reality for you.
- If you are experiencing severe pain, it can be a sign of tooth decay which has advanced to the point that it is attacking the nerve in the middle of the tooth. When this is caught early, such as with a regular visit to the dentist, then it can be remedied with a filling. This is a much easier situation than waiting to the point where the treatment would become more aggressive and cost a lot more money. When there is a lot of decay, options include saving the tooth, removing it or replacing it with a partial denture. A partial is essential for the functioning of your teeth.
- If you are already missing teeth, the burden that is put on the remaining teeth is too much. Once there is a loss of some of your teeth, the rest start to follow. Taking care of damaged teeth is vital if you want to keep the teeth you have. In a 2010 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17% of adults over the age of 65 had all of their teeth removed. So this doesn’t happen to you, make sure you set an appointment with your dentist.
- If you are having problems eating hard or chewy food, you can have the individual tooth treated. However, it is probable that some major problems are happening below the surface. Again, regular visits to the dentist will help you make a decision of what you can do to fix the problem by catching it early.
If You Have To Get Dentures
If for whatever reason dentures are required, be assured that with today’s advances in technology many people can obtain reasonably priced dentures. These newer versions of George Washington’s “wooden teeth” (he actually had partials that were ivory!) are much better. They are certainly more comfortable for the wearer. They look more natural, and the wearer has an easier time speaking and has no worry about them moving or sliding.
While most people would rather keep their own teeth and not have to wear dentures, those who do have to wear them can do so with a more natural looking smile which, of course, helps build self-assurance. Now that you know what can happen when oral health and you don’t have regular visits to the dentist, you can make the informed decision to take charge of your oral health to keep the teeth you were given.