Dentures rest on a ridge of bone and gum of the tissue. Over time, that ridge will shrink causing the dentures to no longer fit properly. If there are tooth roots that have been retained to hold the denture (overdenture), or if implants have been placed to retain the denture (implant-retained denture), or if it is a partial denture, the ridge will not shrink as rapidly as with a complete denture. Sometimes a denture or partial can become worn or brittle, or if the change in the ridge is significant, a new denture or partial may be needed.
As gums change over time, a sore spot will occasionally develop due to changes in how a denture or partial rests on the gums. If a sore spot develops, you may need an adjustment or relining of your denture or partial.
Dentures get bacteria build-up on them, just like natural teeth. Patients should be soaking dentures daily in a cleaning solution and brush daily as well. If all of the stain and bacteria can’t be removed, it’s time to bring them in to the office to have them professionally cleaned.
Dentures can absorb bacteria and fluids that cause offensive odors to develop. If your dentures appear to be clean, but still have an odor, contact us for some advice for removing those odors.
Broken or Chipped Denture
Chips or fractures in your denture or partial can sometimes be easily repaired, or if they are worn, it may be time to have a new one fabricated. It is a good idea for denture patients (with no natural teeth of their own) to have a yearly exam to check the fit and wear of your dentures. If you have a partial denture, it is important to be checked regularly (at least every 6 months) this will ensure that the teeth supporting your partial remain in a healthy condition.
Brace yourself–sugar isn’t the only dental villain!
We use our teeth to talk, chew and smile. Here are some teeth facts you may not have known. Sour can be just as bad as sweet. Acidic, low-pH foods like sour candy, soft drinks, and fruit juices can soften teeth. The result: enamel erosion and diminished tooth size. Dr.Shlafer’s worst nightmare: ultra-sour, ultra-sticky, ultra-sugary kids candies such as Warheads, even sour gummy vitamins can be culprits. When these sour candies were tested,it was found they have a really low pH, nearing battery acid. To make matters worse, a child’s tooth enamel is not mature until a decade after their teeth erupt, so they are more susceptible to the acid. Adults aren’t off the hook: low pH fare includes sour mango, Altoids and even sugar free soft drinks. If you are going to consume highly acidic foods, do it during mealtime, you will minimize the effects. Better yet, chew xylitol-containing gum such as Trident or Orbit. Xyilitol fakes out the bacteria and may help prevent cavities. Finally, don’t forget to brush!
You can be missing teeth at any age. Some people are born missing teeth, most commonly wisdom teeth or incisors (which is located next to the big front tooth). People can inherit missing teeth. Still the most frequent causes of tooth loss are gum disease and cavities. Studies show that 22.8% of Americans age 65-74 and 29.4% of Americans 75 years and older wear dentures. Don’t be a statistic, Dr.Shlafer can help, call for an evaluation today!
Next we will talk about, too much fluoride–is that possible? Braces, can they cause cavities?
Yes! Even if you do not have teeth,or have only had a few dental problems, it is wise, especially as we age to see Dr.Shlafer regularly. For example, some older patients with arthritis may be having difficulty cleaning their teeth, we can help you find a way to adapt. At your visit with Dr.Shlafer he would be checking for signs of oral cancer,completing a head and neck exam, looking at ill-fitting dentures or partials, reviewing new medications, recent illnesses, and other health concerns that may compromise your oral health. Why struggle, “making do”, when there is help available?
Dental implants, what should I know? First you should know that today’s older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer. This is attributed to new technology and advancements in dental care, in addition to the growing awareness of good oral hygiene practices. There are still older adults who suffer from tooth loss and will need dentures, bridges or dental implants. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants can provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. Talk to Dr.Shlafer to see if implants may be an option for you.
Long term smoking, how does it impact your oral health? For one, smoking increases your risk of oral cancer. Other consequences include delayed healing following a tooth extraction, increased bone loss within the jaw, bad breath, and tooth discoloration. A quick and painless oral cancer screening, ViziLite would be recommended to set your mind at ease.
As you can see, there are a number of “unknowns” that may not be causing you any discomfort yet, so to avoid an unexpected dental emergency,why not schedule an evaluation appointment with Dr.Shlafer today?