A costly mistake that new full denture wearers sometimes make is to assume that they no longer need to see a dentist. After all, they don't have any teeth. What could go wrong? But teeth or no teeth, your oral health is still important. Even a person with no remaining natural teeth can suffer dental complications—especially if they are a denture wearer.
If you have recently replaced your teeth with dentures, or plan to in the near future, you should plan to visit your dentist at least once a year. Otherwise, you might not realize that something is wrong until significant damage has been done.
Ill-Fitting Dentures Pose Several Risks
Even if your dentures fit comfortably now, the natural process of bone resorption that occurs in endentulous patients will cause them to become loose. Ill-fitting dentures cause numerous health issues, some of which are too serious to be taken lightly.
Accelerated Bone Loss
Dentures that fit poorly irritate your gums and the bony ridge beneath those gums. This irritation will cause gum sores and fungal infections that along with the constant rubbing from the dentures, will speed up resorption of your jawbone. If too much bone is lost, any future plans you might have had for dental implants will be jeopardized.
Your face will also shrink, altering your appearance considerably. A yearly visit with your dentist can address any issues with denture fit.
Gum Overgrowth or TMJ Issues
Poorly fitting dentures also cause gum overgrowth. This painful infection leaves your gums sore and may also require surgery to remove the overgrown gum tissue. Dentures that are too big or small also cause issues with your temporomandibular joint, the joints upon which your lower jaw hinges. This leads to painful headaches, migraines, and popping noises whilst chewing.
While occurrences of oral cancer in denture patients is rare, there is a clear link between ill-fitting dentures and oral cancer. A study in India found that the irritation caused by ill-fitting dentures could contribute to the development of oral cancer. A yearly check-up can help to improve the fit of your dentures and rule out any risk of oral cancer.
One Yearly Visit Should Suffice
Most dentists prefer their denture patients to visit once a year. This is enough to ensure that your dentures are in the best possible condition. Your dentist will clean your dentures, repair them and make any necessary adjustments. This is also a great time to pick your dentist's brain and address any concerns you might have about your oral health.
Don't stay in the dark, taking chances with your oral health. Stay in touch with your dentist and ensure you visit them at least annually. You may not have any teeth but your gums and bone are just as important to your health and appearance.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!