Too Young for Dentures?

Im Too Young for Dentures! — a Common Misconception

Not too long ago, dental school  professors predicted advancing dental care and hygiene would reduce the need for dentures. Eventually, they believed people wouldn’t need dentures anymore.

dentures_phoenix_dentist“While it’s true that getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose your teeth, and many older people are keeping their natural teeth longer,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dental office. “Younger people are fast becoming denture wearers.”

According to dentures.net, over 15 million Americans suffer facial/dental injuries each year and Dentistry Today estimates that five million teeth are lost every year in sports injuries.

Sports injury is not the only cause of younger people’s tooth loss. “Juvenile periodontal disease is an aggressive form of gum disease that causes tooth loss,” says Dr. Ford. While this disease often has genetic roots, it can also be caused by poor dental hygiene. High school and college is a time that young adults do not pay as much attention to their dental health as they should. “They are busy and generally healthy, and they think losing teeth is something that happens to older people,” says Dr. Ford.

Once poor hygiene becomes a habit, periodontal disease is common. And periodontal disease is easily followed by tooth loss. “Thirty years old is not a surprising age to see bone loss due to tooth loss,” says Dr. Ford. “It’s not common, but it’s more common than it needs to be.”

Some medication can also cause tooth loss at an early age. “Medication that compromises the immune system is the primary culprit,” says Dr. Ford, “but any medication that causes a lack of saliva—dry mouth—can cause bacteria to overgrow and attack gums and teeth.”

Teeth can also be injured by braces or by re-location after braces are removed. This, too, means that younger people will need to replace broken and damaged teeth with dentures or implant supported dentures which offer more stability. 

Today, younger people do not have to wear awkward or ill-fitting dentures. Newly designed dentures of high-impact plastic can look and feel natural. Implants can replace single teeth and be the foundation structure for permanent dentures.

Dr. Ford works with both dental surgeons and excellent dental designers to restore the bright smile of anyone who is missing teeth, either from sports injury or disease. “To have a complete, bright and vibrant smile,” says Dr. Ford. “The best way to do it is to visit your dentist regularly and bring up any concerns at an early stage.”

Of course, emergencies require immediate care, but with today’s treatments, an injury is no longer a reason to lose a perfect smile.  For more on dental emergencies, please see: https://drcarolford.com/is-that-painful-tooth-an-emergency/

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