Your teeth serve several important functions. They help you to bite into your food and chew it thoroughly, which helps start the digestive process. They control the flow of air and help you to form certain sounds when you speak. They also serve an aesthetic purpose, as your smile is quite often the first thing that people notice about you. When you lose your teeth, these functions become affected.
At Downtown Dental Care, we help you take care of your mouth, which then allows your mouth to help take care of you. If you have suffered tooth loss, we can provide you with dentures, both full and partial, to restore the function of your mouth.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
The most common cause of tooth loss is gum disease. Poor oral hygiene often causes this preventable disease. Early stages are easily reversible, but more advanced stages require professional intervention. If you don't treat gum disease, which often begins with red, swollen gums, bacteria travel below the gum line and start to infect the bone and your teeth. Your gums recede and the bone weakens, which loosens your teeth. Eventually, they fall out.
Other, less common causes of tooth loss include pregnancy hormones, osteoporosis, and facial trauma.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that are made to look and act just like your natural teeth. Acrylic resin teeth sit in a plastic gum colored base that is supported by your gums. They can be used to replace a full arch of missing teeth or sections of missing teeth between healthy ones.
Full dentures are meant to replace an entire arch of missing, or unsalvageable, teeth. If you do have unhealthy teeth remaining in the arch, they will first need to be extracted, which helps to prevent infections. They are made from molds of your mouth to create a custom, comfortable fit.
Partial dentures are designed to replace a section of missing teeth in between healthy teeth. After all, if you still have healthy teeth remaining, there's no need to get rid of them. But if you don't have something in the empty spaces, you may find yourself with food stuck, which increases your risk for gum disease, or your healthy teeth may shift their position, which can throw off your bite and lead to other issues. Like full dentures, a partial is made from a mold of your mouth. It is supported by your gums, but has an added security measure. Metal clasps attach wires on the denture to your healthy teeth.
Benefits of Dentures
Getting fit with proper dentures comes with many benefits:
You regain your ability to eat your favorite foods.
Your speech is improved.
They keep your cheeks from sinking in and your facial muscles from sagging, restoring some youth to your appearance.
You get a full, beautiful smile.
Caring for Your Dentures
Dentures require some extra care. First, they should be removed nightly. This not only helps to properly clean them, it gives your gums a break and allows for proper blood flow, which brings oxygen and important nutrients to the tissues. Dentures should be brushed with a soft bristled brush. Avoid using toothpaste, however, as this can lead to microscopic scratches and provide a home for bacteria. Soak your dentures in a denture solution overnight. You should also make sure to clean your gums with a soft bristled brush to get rid of any lingering bacteria. If you still have some healthy teeth remaining, care for them as normal, brushing and flossing to keep bacteria at bay. All of this will ensure your dentures last as long as possible and keep your mouth healthy.
Dentures restore your ability to perform all the necessary functions of natural teeth. If you have suffered tooth loss, please give us a call at (503) 420-7600 to schedule an appointment and learn just what dentures can do for you!