Dentures are one prosthetic meant to replace teeth when there is loss. There is a common misperception among denture wearers that when these are placed, there is no longer a need to see a dentist or worry about mouth hygiene. Go here for tips for denture wearers.
Unfortunately, that is a scary and dangerous mindset. Dental visits are a crucial component of wellness in the same capacity as seeing a medical provider for an annual physical or vision and hearing testing.
Oral health is tied to overall general health, with the dentist having the capacity to intercept possible issues that have no bearing on the teeth. The professional can often work hand-in-hand with a general practitioner or another specialist when following a suspicion from a dental exam.
Oral health and oral hygiene do not stop because you have dentures. Mouth health is dependent on cleanliness and maintenance, especially when it comes to your gums. Let us look at the elements of mouth and denture care and learn why each is relevant to your overall health.
Why Denture and Mouth Care with The Dentist Are Critical for Overall Health
Unfortunately, many people believe when they get dentures, they no longer need to worry about taking care of their mouth or visiting the dentist. The only thing they need to do is put the prosthetic in a cup at the end of the day, and their oral hygiene is complete.
That frame of mind is unhealthy, to say the least. There is such a high incidence of oral cancer, especially when gum and mouth hygiene is neglected. Even if you maintain a set of dentures for cancer patients, the cancer can cause these to fit poorly with a need to visit the dentist more rather than less often.
You might lose your natural teeth, but that is merely one component of oral hygiene and oral health. The appliance needs routine checks, and your mouth needs regular care. Let us look at varied components of dental wellness and why seeing a professional is vital for overall well-being.
As you see with natural teeth, dentures will accumulate food particles and plaque and develop staining. Aside from the oral hygiene you incorporate at home, the dentist needs to professionally clean the prosthetic, so these stay hygienic and healthy for your usage.
The provider has access to equipment that combines “ultrasonic vibration” with the cleanser to take the toughest staining from the surfaces, which you likely have trouble removing.
The residue left over from adhesives is eliminated, as are the many microorganisms that take up residence inside the appliance after being neglected for an extended period. A common infection that develops when at-home cleaning is rare comes from a fungus resulting in painful irritation. This is referred to as “thrush.”
Assessing the “fit and bite”
It is not the dentures that will change as time passes as far as their shape. Instead, the gum tissue and the jawbone will impact the dentures’ fit over time. It can create difficulty with the bite, overall looseness, or developing sore spots. Many people will wait until there is an issue before they go to the provider.
Ideally, you will see the dentist routinely so these issues can be detected and corrected before a problem develops.
In this way, there is less intervention necessary to make the corrections, and the cost is not so extensive, not to mention you do not have to endure discomfort or the potential for pain from ill-fitting prosthetics.
It can be challenging for the average person to notice differences because they are slow and gradual, with the individual adapting along with the changes. But when seeing the dental provider, the areas of “frictional irritation” are recognized so adjustments can be made to avoid challenges. Find common denture problems at https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/common-denture-problems/.
Oral cancer screening / soft tissue assessment
The primary reason a patient should see their dentist at least once every year is to have oral cancer screening. With each assessment, the provider will employ a detailed soft tissue exam in the mouth without the dentures.
The professional is screening for suspicious spots that can potentially be early cancer lesions.
It is recommended that every adult receive these screenings, whether they have natural teeth or none, annually. As with every form of cancer, early detection increases the survival rate.
Those who have dentures and believe consistent dental appointments are unnecessary once they lose their teeth will not receive these critical screenings, which are responsible for saving lives.
Dentists will order panoramic or “jaw x-rays” every few years. These are a much more in-depth radiography than a standard dental x-ray meant to image the lower and upper jaw, so the provider has an opportunity to assess the jawbone to look at the overall health and screen for potential masses or tumors in these areas.
The dental visit is the ideal opportunity for the provider to remind patients how to adequately care for their dentures, what products to use for cleaning, how to clean thoroughly, and what not to use.
People are guilty of many DIY tactics with their dentures to relieve pressure when enduring sore spots or attempts at making their own adjustments. You cannot adequately maintain good denture care or oral health without the assistance of a dental professional.
It is sincerely crucial to see a dentist on a disciplined basis, even when you lose your last natural tooth. Your dentures need the same deep cleaning at least once each year, and your oral health requires the same routine monitoring as previously. It only grows more imperative as you get older because screening for oral cancer is critical when you are an adult.
Not only will you receive screening for the soft tissue inside the mouth, but every few years, the provider will assess for masses and tumors in the jawbones. Seeing a dental provider is no different than seeing a medical professional for general health.
The only difference is your oral health is tied to general wellness, so sometimes a dentist might catch a glimpse of something they can turn the general practitioner onto.
You might not have natural teeth anymore, but you do have an appliance, and as with all prosthetics for any part of the body, these also need monitoring. Please see your dentist.