By Dr Yannopulos · Published July 30, 2019

Dentures and oral health

Dentures and oral health preview image

Preview image for Dentures and oral health

Oral health is important and reflects the general health of a person. It shows signs of nutritional deficiency or lack of personal hygiene or infection affecting a person. Diseases in the oral area bring discomfort, pain and related diseases along with it. Cavities and tooth loss are one of the most commonly seen dental diseases. Gum diseases also bring about tooth loss if they are unchecked.

In order to maintain oral health, dentists and dental specialists use their skills and advancement in technology. Various dental procedures are available that help to promote and maintain oral health. It is important that dental consultations are held twice a year and dental ailments are not left unchecked.

Losing teeth can be due to old age or due to other illness or accidents. If a child loses his/her tooth, there is not much cause of concern as the milk teeth will be eventually replaced by permanent teeth. Dentures are used by dentists when there are no natural replacements for teeth possible. As the need is varied, dentures come in different types.

Replacing lost teeth is possible with the use of Dentures. They fit right in the position where the tooth has been lost and provide all the structural and functional support a natural tooth provides. Dental procedures are very advanced and they help in providing apt treatment for dental problems. Placing dentures is one such dental procedure.

Types and procedure

The common types of dentures that are available are complete dentures or partial dentures. Complete dentures type offers the full set of dentures for a person, while partial dentures are used when few teeth are missing. The reason they provide the exact help as the natural teeth are because they are custom made. They are artificially made using plastic or porcelain.

When it is complete dentures, the base is made of plastic- this will mimic the gum tissue. They are sealed to the gums for proper attachment. In some cases of complete dentures, dental implants are used to fix the teeth. In this dental procedure, metal plates are placed in the jaw bones and then teeth are fixed on them. This procedure takes time and is expensive compared to the other methods.

Partial dentures support only one or a few teeth that are missing. They are held in place by clasps and use the natural neighbouring teeth as anchors. They also provide immediate help, when the gums or jaw bones which have suffered trauma need to heal. This helps in making sure that the person is able to continue a normal lifestyle before the actual dental procedure is done.

Dental consultations are held to determine the type of treatment needed. Impressions of the oral region are taken and then teeth are made which will fit well. The dentures being custom made will make sure that they do not move or shift their position during chewing food. The colour of the teeth will also be chosen to ensure that it is the same as the natural teeth in the case of partial dentures. Adjustments might be needed in the initial weeks, hence dental consultations would be required.

Promoting Oral health

When a person loses teeth, the first and foremost concern that worries everyone is their appearance. While this doesn’t affect so much if a child loses milk teeth, it is a big concern if permanent teeth are lost. More so, if the front tooth is lost. Losing self-esteem due to losing teeth is common among all ages. Dentures help to restore this confidence in people.

If the permanent molars are lost, it doesn’t mean that one can ignore and not replace the missing tooth. When there is a gap in between teeth due to missing teeth, the remaining teeth can shift their position. This will cause misalignment of the teeth. The gums will be affected due to the shift in position. Speech and facial structure would also change. Placing dentures will help to ensure there is no shifting of teeth. Oral health and structural support are possible through using dentures.

Some are of the view that when one starts wearing dentures, there is no need to be careful about personal oral hygiene. This is not true, wearing dentures does not mean personal hygiene can be forgotten. Dentures also have plaque build-up and can be stained. So it is important that dentures are brushed and flossing is also done to prevent bacteria from affecting the gum tissues. Oral hygiene cannot be neglected when one starts using dentures.

If proper care is taken, dentures can last for a long time. But with time, gums can change their shape or bones may shrink. When this happens, the dentures will not be fitting perfectly in the gums. This will need them to be re-aligned. Lose dentures can also cause infections or bruises in the mouth. These infections in the soft oral tissue if not treated can progress to more complications affecting a larger oral area.

Good lifestyle also contributes to good oral health and also overall health. Consuming junk food and drinks do not promote oral health. The high sugar content in fizzy drinks and juices can affect the teeth. The sugary food would stick on to the teeth, inviting bacteria to act on them. They will multiply and then decay the tooth. If food debris is not cleaned after each meal, they also would stick on to the teeth and form tartar. Tartar will act on the teeth and its roots and bring on decay. If unchecked, the gum tissues can also be infected. This infection can get into the blood stream and bring in more additional diseases.

Ensuring that dentures are cleaned every day after every meal is crucial. Removing the food debris sticking on to them will help prevent plaque. Oral health reflects a person’s general health and it is important to have dental consultations in case of any oral ailments.