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Why Do People Need Dentures?
Tooth loss and dentures are not reserved for the elderly. In fact, many younger people also have replacement teeth for a variety of reasons, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, after the Statista Research Department analyzed information from the U.S. Census data and a consumer survey, it concluded there are approximately 41 million people who wear dentures in America. These replacements have helped people of all ages with various issues and have provided relief from dental problems.
Common reasons people need dentures
It would be easy to say the only people who need replacement teeth or implants are those whose teeth have fallen out. However, there are multiple reasons why people choose or need to have replacement teeth over natural ones.
1. Missing teeth
Missing teeth is one of the most common reasons people use dentures. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, there are 156 million people in the United States who are missing one or more teeth. Edentulism, or tooth loss, is most common in the elderly but can affect younger generations who do not have access to proper dental care or who do not practice good oral hygiene. Of those people who are edentulous, 90% have replacement teeth. For people who do not have a full set of teeth, speaking and chewing become difficult and may contribute to poor health.
2. Gum disease
Another reason why people may get dentures is gum disease. This is caused by a buildup of bacteria, plaque and tartar along the tooth and gum lines. If it is left untreated, or if it is persistent, the teeth can pull away from the gums.
Roughly 64 million people in America suffer from periodontal disease, as stated by the American Academy of Periodontology. If the disease becomes too severe, it may result in the need for replacement teeth. That being said, proper hygiene and regular dental visits may help heal the gums and keep this disease in check.
3. Tooth decay
A common dental condition that affects people of all ages is tooth decay, which sometimes requires dentures as a permanent solution. This dental problem is a result of the enamel on the teeth wearing down, usually due to sticky plaque buildup on the surface. Food has acidic properties, and the plaque traps the acid to the teeth, keeping the harmful bacteria in constant contact with the protective enamel. When this happens and plaque is not removed, the enamel dissipates over time, and the tooth becomes more vulnerable to additional plaque and other bacteria.
Usually, this results in small decay, known as a cavity, which can be taken care of with a filling. More extensive cavities may require crowns. In some cases, the decay has spread too much to salvage the teeth, and replacement teeth may be the only viable option.
While there is a misconception that only the elderly need dentures, the truth is that anyone with severe dental issues may need these replacement teeth. A dentist can perform a thorough evaluation and determine the correct course of action for people with dental problems.
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