The dangers of removable dentures

Who could argue with so many denture wearers when they complain that dentures just don’t feel right?

Removable dentures are a tooth-replacement system that has certainly been around for a long time. Your great-grandparents may well have worn removable dentures. The image of false teeth in a glass, on the bedside table, is a common experience for denture wearers. So are the assortments of denture cleaners and adhesives.

Slippage or unpleasant odors may cause embarrassment. The loss of self-confidence that can result from denture wearing is a real concern as well. Yet, there are other problems that could be of even greater concern – problems that could eventually lead to a decline in one’s overall health.

Dentures may cause problems with eating certain foods

It’s well known that people who wear dentures often have trouble eating “challenging” foods, like raw fruits and vegetables – which, as fate would have it, are the foods that provide the greatest nutritional benefits.Dentures in a cup

According to a study, 50 percent of denture wearers avoid many foods due to the difficulty in chewing them. However, the nutritional problems of numerous denture wearers seem to go even deeper. Another study demonstrated that 29 percent said they can eat only soft foods (often highly processed, with little nutritional value). The study also found that 17 percent of denture wearers actually claim to eat better without their dentures.[1]

Dentures do not stimulate the jawbone and accelerate jawbone loss

When teeth are lost, the bone that supported them begins to melt away. That’s because bone tissue requires constant stimulation from the tooth’s roots to keep rebuilding itself.

When that stimulation is absent, bone loss occurs below the gum tissue, out of sight. The decrease in bone volume not only tends to make you look prematurely aged by collapsing your facial features, it may cause TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems as well. Image of jawbone loss

Worse still, wearing removable dentures actually accelerates bone loss. That’s because the denture puts pressure on the surface of the bone, rather than distributing it through the entire anatomical structure the way dental implants do. The bone can’t handle this type of pressure on its surface and begins to resorb (melt away) at an increased rate.

If your dentures don't feel right or you need an answer to the dilemma of missing teeth, ask your dentist if dental implants may be right for you. Click here to locate a dentist in your area who is experienced in dental implants.

[1] Misch, D. C. (2005). Dental Implant Prosthetics. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.