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Can Ill-Fitting Dentures Be Life-Threatening?

October 25, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhoward @ 10:04 pm

Model of dentures in West Cobb.Despite the latest advancements in dentistry, tooth loss is still a prevalent problem. In fact, at least 35 million Americans have lost all their natural teeth in one or both arches. At least 15% of the edentulous population has dentures made annually. They are an effective solution to rebuild a beautiful, functional smile, but if they don’t fit well, could it lead to potentially life-threatening complications? Here’s why it’s best to see your dentist right away if you have slipping dentures in West Cobb.

Link Between Dentures and Oral Cancer

Oral cancer refers to those affecting the head and neck; however, brain cancer is in a different category. On average, over 51,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. Unfortunately, the 5-year survival rate after detection is a little over 50%.

Many people don’t think they are at risk of oral cancer because it’s often attributed to smoking and drinking. Although tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption are leading factors, research shows poor condition of the mouth can also increase the potential for cancerous cells.

Your teeth are meant to last for a lifetime; however, many people experience tooth loss from cavities and gum disease. If you lose several teeth, you’ll need dentures. Although they aren’t subject to decay, you still need to commit to your oral hygiene. If you don’t keep your dentures and your mouth clean, you can develop irritation and inflammation from poor dental health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states dentures themselves don’t cause oral cancer, but inadequate oral hygiene over 30 to 40 years can increase the likeliness. Chronic inflammation from ill-fitting dentures can cause cell damage that can lead to mutations. The longer the inflammation lasts, the more likely cancerous cells will develop.

Thankfully, you can lower your risk of infections, inflammation, and even oral cancer by keeping your dentures well-maintained for a snug fit.

Signs of Ill-Fitting Dentures

Even with the best care, your dentures will eventually need to be adjusted or replaced. The signs may not always be obvious. It’s best to contact your dentist at the first indicator of a problem, such as:

  • Breaks, chips, or fractures: If you accidentally drop your denture or put too much pressure on them, it can cause breaks or fractures to the teeth or base.
  • Difficulty chewing: Your denture may slip or cause irritation when chewing.
  • Discomfort: If you experience any discomfort, like gum or jaw pain, your dentures may need to be adjusted.
  • Oral sores: Pressure or oral sores can form from poorly fitting dentures.

Invest in a Permanent Solution

You can permanently eliminate slipping and irritation with an implant-supported denture. Your dentist can stabilize your new smile, so you have one less thing to worry about.

About Dr. Michael L. Howard

For over 30 years, Dr. Howard has provided exceptional dental care to the community after graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Dentistry. He is an award-winning dentist who embraces the latest technology to create treatment plans that align with a patient’s overall wellness. He offers routine oral cancer screenings to benefit from early detection. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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