Denture Care and Health
As the technology in dentistry improves, more senior citizens are living longer with their natural teeth. For those who are not so fortunate, implants are a serious consideration. Dental implants can a provide a foundation for a new set of beautiful healthy teeth.
Still, I see many seniors in my practice who need to wear dentures. Either cost or other medical concerns make the implant option unfeasable.
If you or someone you love is going to have to wear dentures here are some tips you might find helpful. Take care in choosing a dentist. I would advise asking friends, care givers, and other denture wearers and finding out who they would recommend. A good fitting set of dentures usually requires a multi-visit approach with the dentist taking precise measurements at each visit. I also provide a try-in visit, so that my patients can see how the dentures look and feel before they are finished.
I am still surprised by how many people wear their dentures while sleeping. The soft tissues inside your mouth are very similar to your skin. One of the worst things you can do to yourself with a denture is to wear them 24 hours. Before going to bed your dentures need to be cleaned and soaked overnight in fresh water. The "skin" of your mouth needs to free and relaxed while you sleep. This will keep your mouth healthy through the life of the denture.
Old and ill fitting dentures are another serious health concern. If your denture is beyond seven years of age you need to have it evaluated. Dentures wear out and there are changes in the form of the tissue and bones of the mouth. Also make sure your dentist checks for any bumps or sores in your mouth. Many patients are not aware of any problems and tell me that their dentures feel fine. I have seen cases where "good feeling" dentures are hiding unhealthy conditions. Hopefully we can correct a problem before it becomes a serious health threat.
I urge all denture wearers to consult with their dentists on a regular basis. Periodic check ups and x-rays are critical to maintaining the health and well being of your mouth.
Dr. Kurt D. Froehlich is a General Dentist practicing in the Capital Region of Upstate NY. He has helped many seniors live healthier lifestyles with correct denture health support. Coxsackie Dental Arts is a full service Dental Office in Greene County NY.