If you're like most people, you probably aren't expecting to need dentures sometime in the future. After all, you likely take great care of your teeth. However, dentures are usually a last resort. They're required because a dental problem has gone untreated for a long period of time and has led to tooth loss. Fortunately, if you notice the warning signs and get treatment early, you can usually avoid the need for dentures in the future. Here are three signs that you may have a serious dental problem that could require treatment:
You notice new gaps in your teeth. Most people assume that when their adult teeth grow in, those teeth stay in place forever. The truth is that your teeth are constantly shifting, so a little movement is normal. However, noticeable gaps or realignment are not normal. If you notice a sizable new gap in your teeth, it likely means that one or several of your teeth are not as stable as they should be. The culprit is probably gum disease, which has made your gums so weak that they no longer hold the roots of your teeth in place. If you get this treated immediately, you can avoid more serious treatments in the future. However, if the problem is left untreated, you could lose several teeth and require a more serious fix, like dentures.
You have constant indigestion. There can be lots of causes of indigestion. Most people usually suspect digestive issues and see their physician for treatment. However, dental problems are a common cause of indigestion. When your gums weaken, your teeth become less stable, reducing their chewing capabilities. Over time, you become unable to chew your food as much as you used to. You adjust by swallowing larger and larger bites of food. Eventually, those bites become so big that your digestive system isn't able to process them correctly, leading to indigestion.
This can happen gradually over a long period of time, so you may not initially notice that you're chewing less and swallowing more. However, if you're to the point where you have stomach pain every time you eat, it's worth getting your teeth looked at. Your teeth could be so unstable that you're at risk of losing them.
You've lost a back tooth. Some people will lose back teeth, either through an accident, physical contact, or dental problems. Since the back teeth aren't visible, many people don't have them replaced. The problem, though, is that your back teeth are what you primarily use for chewing food. When you start losing back teeth, you shift the burden of chewing to your front teeth. Your front teeth aren't built for that kind of work, so regular chewing will make them unstable and could eventually force you to lose them. You can avoid this problem by having the back tooth replaced. It may be costly and inconvenient, but it may be worth it to save your front teeth.
If these signs sound familiar, visit a dental office like Kamloops Denture & Implant Centre. They can recommend treatments. If the problem is too far progressed, he or she can discuss dentures or other tooth replacement options.