Your teeth perform many important tasks. They are responsible for biting and chewing food. They control airflow when you speak, enabling you to form words and sounds. They also play a crucial role in the appearance of your smile. Tooth loss affects all of these functions and significantly decreases your quality of life. At Shenandoah Family Dentistry, we can help to restore your missing teeth with dentures.
One of the most common causes of tooth loss is gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is a progressive condition that is caused by bacteria irritating your gums. Irritated gums become swollen and pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. Bacteria then fall into these pockets and begin attacking the supporting structures that hold your teeth in place and your jawbone, along with continuing to harm your gums. Untreated, gums begin to recede, and teeth become loose. Eventually, they fall out. Other causes of tooth loss include:
• Oral and facial trauma. Incidents like automobile accidents, falls, sports-related injuries and more can lead to facial injuries that cause severe damage, requiring an extraction, or knock the teeth completely out.
• Osteoporosis, which is a weakening of your bones.
• Hormonal changes.
Dentures have been used for centuries as a treatment for replacing teeth. Although, the dentures we use today are vastly different from their earlier predecessors. Dentures have undergone many changes, even within the past few decades, which have made them more natural in appearance, better functioning, and more comfortable to wear. They consist of an acrylic gum-colored base that supports acrylic resin teeth. The base, which is removable, is supported directly on your gums, and usually held in place simply by suction. They can be made to replace an entire arch of teeth or sections of missing teeth.
There are several different types of dentures, enabling us to meet a variety of needs.
• Full dentures. A full denture is used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. It can be used for your top jaw, your bottom jaw, or both. If you still have teeth remaining, but they are unhealthy, these teeth are first extracted before the creation of your denture, and your gums are given time to heal.
• Partial dentures. A partial denture is used when you are missing a section of teeth, but the rest of your teeth in the same arch are completely healthy. This denture has metal clasps that attach to your healthy teeth to provide additional support.
• Immediate dentures. These dentures are placed immediately following tooth extractions. The gums heal underneath the denture. With immediate dentures, tissue conditioners are often used to provide additional cushion to protect your gums.
Regardless of what type of denture you receive, it will need to be replaced about every seven years. This is due to both normal wear, and to accommodate your changing jawbone, which is a normal occurrence following tooth loss.
Dentures provide several benefits, including:
• The basic functions of your mouth are restored.
• Your smile is restored, which can help boost confidence.
• Your facial appearance is improved. Dentures help to fill out sunken lips and cheeks, restoring a more youthful appearance.
When you lose your teeth, it is imperative that you replace them as soon as possible. Tooth replacement helps to restore the functions of your mouth, your smile, and your quality of life. For more information, and to find out if dentures are the right solution for you, call Shenandoah Family Dentistry today at (540) 667-8731.