Yes! Even if all of your natural teeth are gone, it is important you continue to see our restorative dentists every six months. Wearing full or partial dentures doesn’t make you immune to gum disease, oral cancer, or other oral health issues.
During your appointment, we will be able to monitor your health so you can protect your remaining oral structures. For example, missing teeth increases your risk of losing bone density in your jaw. By seeing our dentists on a regular schedule, we can monitor your bone density and ensure that your smile remains protected.
Protect Your Overall Health
What many patients with dentures don’t realize is that oral health affects more than just your teeth. To truly have good oral health, you must also take care of your gums, jawbone, and throat.
Some studies even suggest a link between your oral health and the rest of your body. For example, people with diabetes have been shown to have a higher risk of gum disease. By taking care of your oral health, you may also benefit your overall health.
Screen for Oral Cancer
The estimates around 53,000 Americans will get oral and throat cancer this year. Fortunately, Dr. Piotrowski and Dr. Cohen can do an oral cancer screening to catch cancer in its early stages. Our dentists are trained to recognize oral cancer in its early stages, giving you the best chance of survival.
You’re more at risk for oral cancer if you use tobacco, abuse alcohol, or have HPV (human papillomavirus). If you spend a lot of time outside, you may also have a risk of lip cancer if you didn’t use sun protection. Our dentists will review your medical history to determine your risk factors for oral cancer.
Signs of oral cancer include:
- Red or white patches in mouth
- Sore throat
- Hoarse voice
- Mouth sore that bleeds or doesn’t heal
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain while chewing
If you recognize any of the above signs of oral cancer, schedule an appointment with our dentists as soon as possible. The sooner we detect oral cancer symptoms, the better your chances of survival. It’s not enough to check for the signs of oral cancer yourself.
Many times, oral cancer isn’t visible to the naked eye until it’s too late to treat. An oral cancer screening will help us catch cancer before it’s progressed too far.
Detect and Treat Gum Disease
If you wear full or partial dentures, your gums are responsible for helping to hold them in place. Once your gums recede, your dentures will slip more often and become uncomfortable. That’s just one reason why your gum health remains important even after you’ve gotten dentures.
Gingivitis, an early form of gum disease, can be reversed by adopting a good oral hygiene routine and seeing our dentists every six months for a teeth cleaning.
You may have gum disease if your gums are:
Loose teeth and persistent bad breath can also be signs of gum disease.
If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is irreversible and will destroy gum and jawbone tissue over time.
If you have periodontal disease, our dentist may recommend scaling and root planing. During periodontal disease treatment, our dentist will remove plaque and tartar from both above and below your gum line. Once the plaque and tartar are removed, Dr. Piotrowski will smooth out your tooth roots to encourage your gums to reattach to your remaining teeth.
Don’t assume you don’t need dental care after losing teeth. This especially applies to people who wear partial dentures. The more natural teeth you’re able to keep, the less likely your jawbone will deteriorate over time.
In severe cases, jawbone deterioration can even lead to facial collapse. To avoid complications from tooth loss, call our office today.
Monitor the Condition of Your Dentures
Often, patients need their dentures adjusted or even replaced over time. After all, your dentures receive a lot of wear and tear from being in your mouth all day.
During your appointment, we will be able to inspect your dentures to make sure they’re still in good condition. You can also ask our dentists any questions you have about your partial or full dentures. Protecting your oral health is always our first priority.
Continue Seeing Our Dentist after Dentures
This blog post has been updated.