SmilesByGlerum News

Karen Glerum DDS

Lifelong Benefits of Maintaining Your Teeth

May 16th, 2014

If you ask most people they will tell you that maintaining good dental health into your elder years brings many benefits to living a quality life. The main reasons being avoiding pains in the teeth and gums, the ability to enjoy all types of food, and a healthy appearance.

Studies have repeatedly shown that people who don’t maintain good dental health have a higher mortality rate than those who were in better dental health. Add to this the impact of nutrition as the most likely contribution to health.

The elderly are no different than younger patients and should see their dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Common problems such as cavities, gum disease, and other dental infections need to be treated early to avoid overall health issues. Patients who wear full or partial dentures should have them evaluated by their dentist for proper comfort and fit over time. Dentures may not fit well if they have been worn for many years. The jawbone under the denture can become worn away over the years causing dentures to fit differently and become uncomfortable.

Besides the discomfort, loose dentures make it difficult to chew your food properly, speak clearly, and not support the face muscles as well. One telltale sign of a loose denture is the need to continuously use more adhesive to stay in place. Sometimes your dentist can remedy the problem by relining the denture, but after 5 to 7 years a new denture should be made. And absolutely whenever the dentures cannot be used comfortably anymore. For some patients, implants may help secure the dentures for a better fit. Normally, this type of procedure is needed in the lower jaw and in some cases the only way to help the patient stabilize and use their denture comfortably.

Keep in mind with dentures or not, maintaining lifelong good dental health along with the right nutrition is the biggest factor in living a long healthy life.

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