6 Warning Signs You Might Need Dentures in the Future

If you think you'll never need dentures because you take good care of your teeth, then it may surprise you that more than one in every five Canadians over the age of 60 have no natural teeth remaining. That's more than one million people. Here are six of the most significant warning signs that dentures could be in your future. 

You can be forgiven for thinking you'll never need dentures in your life. After all, that's what the majority of us believe, according to a recent survey that was conducted by a leading health magazine. It found that 60 percent of people surveyed don't expect to need dentures in their lifetime because they take proper care of their teeth. 

But with more than one million Canadians having no natural teeth remaining — which is more than one in every five over the age of 60 in our country — complete and partial dentures are much more prevalent than you probably think. 

Here are six of the biggest warning signs that dentures could be on the horizon for you.

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1. You Have Swollen, Tender, Red, or Bleeding Gums

If you have swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums, those are the hallmark signs of gum inflammation. From early gingivitis to advanced periodontal disease, gum disease is the largest cause of tooth loss in adults, with the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) saying it accounts for 70 percent of all cases. The AGD also says that three out of every four people will experience gum disease at some point in their life. 

The good news? Gum disease doesn't necessarily mean that dentures are a guaranteed outcome for you. If caught and treated early with regular dental cleanings and appropriate oral care at home, it can be reversed. But if nothing is done and the gum disease progresses to a certain point, then bone loss can occur, and dentures may be imminent.

2. You're Suffering From a Toothache

If you're experiencing sharp and severe pain from a toothache, that might mean decay has progressed to the point where it's beginning to affect the nerve in the centre of your tooth. If the decay is caught early on enough, then a straightforward filling can easily solve the problem. But if the decay has progressed too far for that to be a viable option, then your choices to treat the problem become much more invasive and costly. 

If decay reaches the point where drastic measures must be taken, your dentist will see if any of your teeth are able to be saved and which ones need to be removed. It's important to remember that once a tooth has been removed, it's not coming back.

3. You Have Loose or Shifting Teeth or the Gaps in Your Teeth Are Getting Wider

Bone loss due to gum disease could be the cause of your shifting teeth or widening gaps between them. Known medically as periodontal disease, this gum condition can progress to an advanced stage without you being aware of it, which is why it is often referred to by dentists as the 'silent killer' of teeth. 

If you notice that one or more of your teeth are loose, that can indicate that advanced gum disease is present in the area of the affected tooth. Sometimes extensive treatment may correct the problem, but part of that work may also require the removal of the affected tooth.


4. You Suffer From Recurring Indigestion

If you find that you're constantly suffering from indigestion, then your teeth may be the reason why. That's because you might not be able to chew your food correctly, leading to larger pieces making their way into your stomach. Which makes things more difficult on it, resulting in recurring stomachaches or indigestion. 

If you're unable to chew your food correctly due to tooth pain or damaged teeth, that's a major sign that serious dental problems are occurring in your mouth. You should see your dentist right away to find out if your recurring indigestion is a symptom of something bigger and more severe going on with your teeth. 

5. You Find It Difficult to Eat Hard or Chewy Foods

Suddenly finding it difficult to eat hard or chewy foods could be a sign that you're suffering from a number of different dental problems. Whether it's a cracked tooth, gingivitis, cavities, or periodontal disease, having a tough time eating the foods you used to have no issues with means you need to get in touch with your dentist and schedule an appointment right away.

Certain dental treatments such as a crown or root canal could save the affected tooth that is making chewing these foods difficult for you. Or if you're suffering from a larger systemic problem, your dentist might be able to institute a treatment regimen that could reverse the course of the disease you're currently suffering from.

6. You Are Already Missing More Than One Tooth

If you are already missing more than one tooth, then you should call a denturist as soon as possible to see if they can fit you with a partial denture. If you don't, the increased pressure your remaining teeth are already experiencing could become too great for them to handle.

Once more than two teeth are missing, the ones that are left are at an increased risk of being lost as well because they have to pick up the slack. This can result in a devastating domino effect unless the increased pressure is dealt with by using a partial denture to rectify the problem.

In the end, all of these warning signs can be avoided by practicing proper oral care at home and by visiting your dentist at least once every six months for a checkup and comprehensive cleaning. While fewer Canadians are experiencing complete tooth loss than in previous generations, more than one million of us still fall into this category. Which is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks dentures won't be in their future.

Get Your Free Consultation

If you need affordable dentures in Calgary or would like more information about our partial dentures which can help save your remaining teeth, Future Smiles Denture Clinic has you covered. Just get in touch with our helpful denture team by calling 403-475-0016 or by booking a FREE consultation or by visiting our Coral Springs NE or Macleod SW Calgary clinics. We'd love to help get you smiling again!

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Vlad Dumbrava

Vlad Dumbrava has been active in the field of denture therapy since 2008. Upon receiving his denturist degree in 2011 from George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario, he continued his education in Medical Sciences at Western University.

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