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  Dr Minh Nguyen
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Some people believe that their problems will be over if they have their teeth removed and get dentures. But instead, as most denture wearers will tell you, this marks the beginning of many new and different problems.

It's tough to chew with a denture. It could take five times longer to chew your food. And when you add up all the costs, removing your teeth, making the dentures, periodic relines and re-creation (as often as every 3 years), dentures end up being very expensive.

Farther down the road, as chewing becomes more difficult, you may be forced to consider implants and, as you may already know, they're one of the most expensive tooth-replacement options.

When you wear a denture, over time the bone in your jaw will recede. This is what causes a denture to get loose and floppy. When this happens, your denture will have to be remade to regain a proper fit.

It's not uncommon for this to occur every few years, particularly in your lower jaw. That's because the base for the denture is smaller and the bone is much less stable. When you have your teeth removed, eventually the ridge of the bone in your lower jaw becomes very flat, and there's practically nothing to hold the denture in place. Even worse, there are nerves passing through these holes that can end up on the surface of the bone, so when you bite down, it hurts! Some long-term denture-wearers suffer greatly from this. Their jaw hurts and goes numb every time they try to chew. Unfortunately, these difficulties occur in a person's later years, when healthy eating is critical to continued good health and quality of life. When the bone under dentures recedes, two things happen: your nose gets closer to your chin, and your lips collapse. This causes you to look older, with more wrinkles and less support in your mouth. An upper denture also covers most of the taste buds on the roof of your mouth. This makes it much harder to taste and enjoy your food. Additionally, the tissues and bone in the mouth were never made to have plastic continually rubbing against them, so sore spots will develop in your mouth. And if you have an active gag reflex, an upper denture might even be impossible to wear. If you have the choice, keeping your natural teeth is the preferred option. You'll look better, feel better, enjoy your food more and have more confidence.

 

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