Why dentures aren't just for seniors

Dentures may be associated with mature-aged people, but there's no age limit on replacing missing teeth with realistic prosthetics.

The ageing process does contribute to tooth loss, but it's not the only factor involved. Many people in their senior years still have all their natural teeth, just as many younger adults are missing some of their permanent teeth, due to accidents, oral health conditions and other lifestyle factors.

Dentures are a convenient non-surgical option that allow people of all ages to restore the appearance and functionality of their mouths, whether you only need to replace a few teeth or a full dental arch.

When are dentures needed?

If you're only missing a single tooth, your dentist may recommend a permanent bridge or refer you on for a dental implant.

However, dentures may be the more practical option if you have multiple teeth that need to be replaced. Common reasons for dentures include:

  • Severe tooth decay – If your teeth are too badly damaged by plaque to repair with a root canal or fillings, they will need to be extracted to maintain your oral health. Poor oral hygiene and an unhealthy diet contribute to tooth decay.
  • Periodontitis – This advanced stage of periodontal (gum) disease causes the gums to recede from the teeth and damages the jaw, causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
  • Poor nutrition – Excessive amounts of sugar, carbohydrates and acid in food and drink are bad for your teeth. So is a lack of healthy vitamins and minerals, especially calcium which is vital for strengthening your teeth and jaws.
  • Health conditions – Underlying health conditions such as diabetes and juvenile arthritis increase the risk factor for tooth loss, which can also occur as a side-effect of certain medications.
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) – Grinding your teeth by day or night wears down the enamel and puts strain on the supporting bones, which can cause them to weaken.
  • Trauma – Injuries to the mouth are the fastest route to tooth loss. Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports helps to keep your teeth protected.

How to choose the right dentures

Just as dentures are associated with mature-aged people, they can also be associated with unrealistic, plastic-looking appliances. That's not the case for modern dentures, which are aesthetically designed.

While some mature-aged people may only require functionality from their dentures and mind less about their appearance, you can choose high-quality oral devices that look and feel like real teeth.

When you have your dentures custom-made to fit your mouth, they are more comfortable to wear and less likely to interfere with how you eat or talk. Your dentist will match them to your original teeth colour for a natural finish.

Follow your dentist's advice about how to look after your dentures to keep them free from stains and help them to last for many years.

Complete dentures and partial dentures in Perh's northern suburbs

If you're thinking about dentures and you want to speak to a professional about your options, call Ocean Reef Dental Surgery on (08) 9307 6700. You can also book an appointment online.