Full dentures are common among the elderly who have lost most or all of their teeth over their lifetime. Dentures aid with proper speech and allow individuals to enjoy their favourite solid foods. However, over time, the prosthetic devices may become worn and require repairs. Your loved one may be oblivious of these dental problems and may instead associate them with old age. So, how do you tell if their full dentures need repairs? Here are some telltale signs:
Visible Signs of Damage
The first sign to look out for is physical damage on the dentures. You can inspect the dentures when your loved one removes and cleans them at night. Look for physical fractures which tend to occur when the prosthetic devices are accidentally dropped on a hard surface. Also, check to see if there are missing or worn teeth. Physically damaged dentures make it hard for one to chew food properly due to broken or missing teeth. The devices require immediate repairs to restore their functionality.
Is your loved one having a hard time speaking properly? While speech problems are attributed to old age, they can also be due to worn dentures. Over time, poor maintenance habits can cause these oral devices to become loose. They no longer fit perfectly in the mouth, and this makes it hard for the wearer to speak correctly. Speech difficulty is common when an individual is new to dentures. If your loved one has had the appliances for a while, the problem could be denture wear.
Dentures should have a correct fit for them to function appropriately. If you notice that the devices keep coming off or your loved one has to fix them when eating or talking, there's a problem. An incorrect fit can result from gum shrinkage. As a person ages, the gums start to shrink and lose their form. Oral devices may fail to fit as snugly as they used to due to these oral changes. A dentist should adjust the dentures to fit them to the current form and structure of the gums.
Dentures are not designed to last a lifetime. After years of use, they may become worn or damaged. Poor maintenance, constant falling and changes in the oral structure can accelerate their wear. Therefore, it's essential to visit the dentist for regular check-ups. If the damage isn't extensive, the dentist can reverse the damage and extend the lifespan of the devices. However, if they are extremely worn, your loved one may need a new set of dentures.
One way of taking care of your elderly loved ones is ensuring their oral appliances are in excellent condition at all times. Schedule an appointment with the dentist if you suspect your loved one requires denture repairs.