According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 27.27% of senior citizens over age 65 have no remaining teeth. Many of these people who do not have any natural teeth left opt for the typical option of getting dentures. While dentures can be a good thing for a senior who has no teeth at all, dentures can also pose problems for a lot of patients. Dental implants, which are often thought to be impractical for elderly individuals, can actually be a better alternative in some cases. Here is a look at a few of the problems older people who wear dentures every day have with their prosthetic teeth.
Dentures can cause issues with communication
Dentures can shift and move in the mouth, especially if they are ill-fitting. This can create issues with communication and speaking clearly for the senior wearer. In a study performed in 2014 on 50 senior patients who wore dentures, the majority of them had problems with speech and communication. Because of this, self-esteem was also an issue. Even a few implants in the jawline to stabilize the dentures can help prevent these kinds of issues, so problems with clear speech are no longer an issue.
Dentures can cause problems with mouth sores and soreness
Elderly individuals are more prone to gum irritation than someone who is young and has healthy soft tissue in the mouth. Therefore, if an individual is wearing dentures that don't fit properly, the shifting movement when they speak and chew can rub blisters and cause sores to develop on the soft tissues. Unfortunately, these issues can also be slower to heal for a senior patient, which means the risk of infection is higher than it normally would be.
Dentures can cause problems with a poor diet
If dentures do not fit into the mouth properly, it is still not possible for the wearer to chew their food correctly. When this occurs, senior patients will often avoid certain types of foods that would be harder to chew or cause their mouth to hurt. For example, the patient may avoid meats, crunchy, fresh vegetables, and foods that would otherwise be good for their health. A poor diet as a senior citizen can create a lot of health concerns. Therefore, proper denture adjustments are important and dental implants can be a more viable option, even if it is just a few implants to secure the dentures.