Tooth loss, also known as, Edentulism, results when “one or more teeth are missing”.3 It can be caused by injury, gum disease (periodontitis or gingivitis), age, plaque accumulation, poor diet, lack of oral hygiene, medical conditions or premature loss of baby teeth or injury resulting in loss of permanent teeth.3 The upper and lower jaw bone act as anchors for your natural teeth. This strong foundation enables a person to bite and chew easily. However, when the teeth roots are removed, this anchoring bone begins to shrink. (i.e. Resorption) Due to Resorption, “the gum-covered ‘arch’ where teeth were once held begins to flatten out.”1 Considering a denture is made to “conform to the specific contours of this arch,”1 this Resorption means the foundation for a denture is also declining, in turn, there is less base for the “denture to wrap”.1 As the bone continues to shrink and the denture becomes unstable, it will provide less support for chewing. Once this bone loss begins, it will continue at a rapid pace. In turn, patients resort to eating “softer” foods rather than a fully balanced diet.1 Also, without the security of denture adhesives, dentures may slip while you eat or speak. This may not only lead to embarrassment, but also dentures that are ill-fitting can promote infection and tooth decay.2 It is also important to note that the act of chewing actually supports digestion–as you chew, digestive acids break down foods, so they are broken down enough to swallow. If your dentures are unstable, you are unable to chew well, in turn this breakdown is done less.1
“In a 2013 article shared by the International Journal of Dentistry (through the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health) Edentulism (losing all of one’s natural teeth) leads to”1: a lower intake of healthy fruits and vegetables, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, GI issues and obesity, higher incidences of chronic inflammation changes to gastric lining, higher risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, as well as noninsulin-dependent diabetes, chronic kidney disease and sleep apnea. All of these issues, result in decreased physical activity, in turn a lower quality of life.1
Thankfully, the placement of dental implants can prevent the devastating effects that we see from edentulism and conventional dentures. Dental implants, or teeth attached by way of “artificial tooth roots surgically attached to the jaw to secure a replacement tooth, bridge or denture… look, feel and function like natural teeth.”3 They may also be used in conjunction with a denture for better stability. Since dental implants are anchored in the jaw bone, they support chewing and digestion. They also help to stop bone loss and allow for eating without teeth movement, due to the teeth being anchored by the bone. Dental implants allow for a better quality of life-better physical and mental well-being. As long as you take care of them, dental implants can last up to 20 years.2 Their longevity and benefits to an individual’s oral health and overall well-being make them a more favorable choice over dentures.
- Claiborne, DDS MS. How A Denture Can Be Ruining Your Health. Posted on Aug 13, 2018. Available Online on 10 February 2020. Website: https://www.biltmoreperiodontics.com/denture-can-ruining-health/
- Dental Implants vs. Dentures. Oral-B. Available Online on 10 February 2020. Website: m/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adults/implants-vs-dentures
- Causes and Consequences of Tooth Loss. Consumer Guide to Dentistry. Available Online on 10 February 2020. Website: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/tooth-loss/