They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and though that sentiment wasn't meant for your teeth, it certainly can apply. As children, we start with 28 teeth your body hopes to maintain for a lifetime. But modern life often has other ideas, such that by the time we reach middle age, Americans have lost, on average, between six and ten teeth. But once a tooth has been lost, the story's second half begins.
That's why the team at Mount Wavery Smiles has a mission to help you replace missing teeth. Beyond the apparent embarrassment of a gappy smile or sagging facial muscles, missing teeth also negatively impact other logical ways. For example, it's easy to understand how lost teeth make eating more difficult, so your nutrition may suffer. But these impacts are only the tip of the iceberg.
Did You Know Missing Teeth Are Connected with Dementia?
The familiar issues around missing teeth don't require much research to confirm, but modern science has uncovered more profound consequences. For example, as we age, several studies have found a compelling link between missing teeth and cognitive decline.
According to the National Institute on Aging, researchers discovered that 'participants with more missing teeth had, on average, a 48% higher risk of cognitive impairment and a 28% higher risk of dementia'. They further explain that the rate of decline was related to the number of lost teeth, a factor they call 'dose-dependent'. What this means is that with each additionally lost tooth, the risk of cognitive impairment increased by 1.4%, and the risk of dementia went up by 1.1%
These statistics also show that participants with '20 or more lost teeth had a 31% higher risk of cognitive impairment'. For those with total tooth loss, the same research shows that they have a '54% higher risk of cognitive impairment and a 40% higher risk of dementia'.
The Two Types of Dentures in Mount Waverley, VIC
While these figures may seem alarming, the study did show one crucial benefit. The study explains that 'participants who had missing teeth but used dentures did not have a significantly higher risk of dementia than participants without missing teeth'.
This is just one compelling reason to address your tooth loss, and the Mount Waverly Smiles team's mission is to help you make the best choice. Because they offer several options, dentures may be right for you. In general, dentures come in two varieties: full and partial.
Full Denture: A conventional full denture replaces all teeth on the upper or lower arch or both. Your prosthodontist will take accurate measurements of your mouth, so your new denture will fit well. In some cases, we will extract any remaining natural teeth and allow your mouth and gums to heal. If appropriate, we may recommend an immediate complete denture to use during the healing period.
After your new denture's fabrication is complete, you will return to your prosthodontist for final fitting and care instructions.
Partial Denture: A partial denture replaces one or more teeth, usually in a row, so that the remaining natural teeth on either side of the gap can support the appliance. Sometimes, a part consists of a metal framework with several dental crowns attached.
Daily Denture Care Is Essential
Modern dentures are an improvement on their more traditional ancestors, but the wearer still needs to care for them so that they will last. Here are a few tips to keep your dentures in good condition:
- Handle them carefully, over padding or a folded towel in case you drop them.
- When not in your mouth, store your denture in a glass of water or cleaning solution.
- Avoid soaking in hot water as it could warp your denture.
- Brush your denture daily to avoid staining from food accumulations.
- Also, brush your gums, tongue, and palate at least twice a day to remove plaque and food debris.
- Never try to repair a damaged denture at home; always visit your dentist for repairs.
Maintain Your Dentures by Relining
Dentures in Mount Waverly are usually composed of acrylic and specialised plastic polymers. When you bite down on your dentures, you apply considerable force on your denture. Over time, these forces can lead to cracks or fractures where even minor damage can cause ill-fitting dentures that may irritate your soft mouth tissues.
Relining dentures restores their function by adding material to the inner plate that hugs your gums. In addition to fixing the damage, this process can account for changes in your jaw and gums which become more significant with age. Periodic relining will make your denture fit as well as they did when they were new.
Denture Benefits in Mount Waverley, VIC
If you suffer from missing teeth, you may not realise that an eventual consequence can be diminished mental capacity along with numerous other health impacts. Instead of waiting to suffer those negative impacts, our team of dental professionals is ready to help you decide on a tooth replacement regimen.
To learn more, we invite you to contact our team to arrange an exam.