4 Reasons to See a Dentist Even if You Have Dentures
It’s a common myth that if you have dentures, you don’t need to see a dentist as often as someone who still has all their permanent pearly whites.
At first glance, this makes sense: If you have fewer or no natural teeth, then why would you need to consult someone who specializes in tooth health?
Even though this might seem logical, it grossly oversimplifies the realities of oral health. Regardless of whether you have full or partial dentures, there are several good reasons to maintain regular dental appointments. Here are four of them.
To maintain dental hygiene.
No matter how many teeth are left in your mouth, it’s critically important to maintain your dental hygiene. Even if you have full dentures (and therefore none of your natural teeth), you’re still at risk for gum disease. If you have partial dentures and some remaining permanent teeth remaining, those teeth are at a heightened risk for cavities because food particles are especially likely to get stuck between the dentures and your teeth. Even your dentures themselves can be subject to plaque buildup that requires professional cleaning. Thus, regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining the oral hygiene that can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
To detect oral health issues.
Regular trips to the dentist allow your dentist to stay on top of your oral health and practice early detection of potential oral health issues such as gum disease or oral cancer. There’s some evidence that people with dentures (especially poor-fitting ones) are more susceptible to oral cancer, which is all the more reason to see a dentist regularly. This way, you’ll have the oversight of a medical professional who’s equipped to take immediate action should any early warning signs appear.
To adjust the fit of your dentures.
As we age, the hard and soft tissues in our mouths tend to change. These shifts can change your bite and consequently throw off the fit of your dentures, which can lead to discomfort and increases the risk of developing health issues such as gum disease, sores, TMJ, sleep apnea, and even poor nutrition, which results when ill-fitting dentures make it difficult to eat. It’s not uncommon for dentures to require fitting adjustments every few months. If your dentures are uncomfortable, prone to slipping, or click when you’re talking, those are good signs that you should see your dentist even sooner.
To prolong the life of your dentures.
Seeing your dentist regularly ensures that your dentures are regularly looked over for signs of damage or other issues. This allows your dentist to make prompt adjustments and repairs that will help maintain the functionality of your dentures for as long as possible. Your dentist can also provide you with proper care instructions so you’re equipped to do your part in prolonging your denture’s longevity on a daily basis. When you properly care for your dentures in collaboration with your dentist, they should last for up to seven years.
Consider the myth busted: No matter the type of dentures you use or how many natural teeth you have left, seeing the dentist regularly should remain a critical part of your oral care routine.