Yes! Even if all your natural teeth are gone, it’s important you continue seeing our dentist regularly. Wearing full or partial dentures doesn’t make you immune to gum disease, oral cancer, and other health issues. During your appointment, we’ll be able to monitor your health after tooth loss so you can protect remaining oral structures. For example, missing teeth increases your risk of losing bone density in your jaw.
Continue reading to learn why you’ll need to continue seeing our dentist if you have dentures.
Protect Your Overall Health
What many patients with dentures don’t realize is that oral health affects more than just teeth. To have truly good oral health, you must also take care of your gums, jawbone, and throat. Some studies even suggest a link between oral health and the rest of your body. For example, people with diabetes have been shown to have a higher risk of gum disease.
Screen for Oral Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates about 53,000 Americans will get oral and throat cancer this year. Fortunately, Dr. Busch-Abbate can do an oral cancer screening to catch cancer in its early stages. Our dentist is trained to recognize oral cancer in its early stages, giving you the best chance of survival.
You’re more at risk for oral cancer if you used tobacco, abused alcohol, or have HPV (human papillomavirus). If you spend a lot of time outside, you may also have a risk of lip cancer if you didn’t use sun protection. Our dentist reviews your medical history to determine your risk factors for oral cancer.
Signs of oral cancer include:
- Red or white patches in mouth
- Sore throat
- Hoarse voice
- Mouth sore that bleeds
- Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain while chewing
If you recognize the signs of oral cancer, schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible. The sooner we detect oral cancer symptoms, the better your chances of surviving. It’s not enough to check for the signs of oral cancer yourself. Many times, oral cancer isn’t visible until it’s too late to treat. An oral cancer screening helps us catch cancer not visible to the naked eye.
Detect and Treat Gum Disease
Gingivitis can be reversed by adopting a good oral hygiene routine and seeing our dentist regularly. Even if most of your natural teeth are gone, it’s important that you take care of your gums. If you wear full or partial dentures, your gums are responsible for helping hold them in place. Once your gums recede, your dentures will slip more often and become uncomfortable.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Sore gums
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is irreversible and will destroy gum and jawbone tissues over time. If you have periodontal disease, our dentist may recommend scaling and root planing. During periodontal disease treatment, our dentist will remove plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line.
Don’t assume you don’t need dental care after losing teeth. This especially applies to people who wear partial dentures. The more natural teeth you’re able to keep, the less your jawbone will deteriorate over time. In severe cases, jawbone deterioration can even lead to facial collapse. To avoid complications from tooth loss, call our office today.
Monitor the Condition of Your Dentures
It’s not uncommon for patients to need theiradjusted or replaced over time. After all, your receive a lot of wear and tear from being in your mouth all day. During your appointment, we’ll be able to inspect your dentures to ensure they’re still in good condition. You’ll also be able to ask our dentist any questions you have about your partial or full dentures. Protecting your oral health is always our first priority.