In 2014, researchers dropped the bombshell that hundreds of thousands of Australians didn’t actually “need” dentures. Their analysis was based on the bare minimum definition of “need” as being people were unable to survive without dentures.
However, dentures are about more than chewing, and if you’ve lost one or more teeth, there are many more factors to consider whether you need dentures or not. The best way to work through these factors is to talk to a dentist in person. To schedule an appointment with a Sydney denture dentist, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an appointment at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.
Signs You Need Dentures
Here are some of the warning signs to watch out for that indicate you need dentures after you’ve lost one or more teeth:
- Upset stomach
- Drifting teeth
- Accelerating tooth wear
- Red and inflamed gums
- Increase in cavities
- Reduced strength
- Reduced endurance
- Difficulty breathing
- Waking up with bad breath or headaches
- Dissatisfaction with your smile
- A shrunken, wrinkled, or sagging face
If you experience any of the above, it’s time to talk to a denture dentist about your options.
Do You Need Dentures to Chew?
Whether you need dentures to be able to chew depends on how many teeth you have, and where those teeth are. In general, it’s recommended that you should have at least 20 teeth that have occlusion with one another (they oppose each other) to chew properly. This should include a minimum of 4 pairs of molars that are capable of helping you chew difficult food, and the rest can be anterior teeth to help grip and tear food.
If you have fewer than 20 teeth or don’t have a functional combination of teeth, then you need dentures. You should also watch out for signs of poor chewing, such as indigestion, gas, eating too fast, constipation, or diarrhea. Of course, it’s important to remember that not all dentures are fully functional to help with chewing, so it’s important to talk to your dentist to ensure the dentures you receive will be functional, which can be dramatically improved with dental implants.
Do You Need Dentures to Keep Teeth from Drifting?
Teeth don’t just chew. They are also there to support one another to maintain a healthy arch. When you have lost one or more teeth, the remaining teeth can drift, leading to gaps and crooked teeth. Not only will this cause your smile to become unattractive, but it can change a functional bite into a nonfunctional one. Teeth that used to oppose each other can drift so that they no longer touch. Once this occurs, you might need braces as well as dentures.
Drifting teeth can be harder to keep clean, leading to an increased risk of gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss.
And the teeth that do touch can end up bearing too much of the load, leading to excessive wear, damage, and even loss.
Do You Need Dentures to Keep Active?
Your teeth are also a vital part of your body’s support and balance system. Your jaw helps brace and support your head, maintaining a straight and upright neck. Without teeth, this support system can degenerate.
When your teeth are no longer holding your jaw in a healthy position, you might be at increased risk for falls, and you might notice that your strength and balance may suffer. Your jaw also holds your airway in an optimal position. Without teeth, the jaw may drift out of place, leading to a narrowed airway that can make it harder to breathe under stressful conditions.
You might also notice problems breathing while you sleep, because tooth loss can increase your risk for sleep apnea.
Do You Need Dentures for an Attractive Appearance?
Your smile is probably the most crucial aspect of your facial appearance. It’s the first thing people notice about you, and they will make judgements about you based on what they see. Missing teeth can make you look old, unhealthy, uneducated, and poor. It can take years to erase the effects of a bad first impression, and it’s not always successful. That’s why many people choose dentures to help them present an attractive smile.
Our teeth are important to our appearance even when we’re not smiling. They are an essential part of the foundation of our facial appearance. Once you start losing teeth, your face can become sunken around the mouth as its foundation is being eroded. You may notice more wrinkles and deep folds, jowling, turkey neck, and other signs of aging.
Not all dentures are designed to reduce these effects on your appearance. But the Denture Fountain of Youth ™ is designed to help restore your face to its youthful proportion, giving you a younger, healthier appearance.
Talk to a Dentist about Dentures
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.