Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Why should I keep my teeth ?

The question may seem shocking to many of you, but I see a decent number of patients who seem not to see the value of their teeth ( especially back teeth).As long as their smile is ok, the back teeth can go.That concept has caused more than a few people to suffer because they cannot chew their food well. God gave us the big back teeth to chew with. The front teeth and the side teeth are made to cut not chew. So people without back teeth  change to a softer diet. Softer diets are more likely high in carbs which increases the chance for decay , gum disease and more tooth loss.

Another problem is bone shrinkage due to the tooth or teeh being removed.The stimulus for the bone to remain at the normal level is the root of the tooth. Remove the tooth and the bone starts to shrink. More teeth come out and more bone goes away. Of course ,you can replace the teeth with dentures,partial dentures,bridges or implants but the cost is more than keeping the teeth originally.

I equate having your teeth removed with cutting classes in college. The first class was hard to cut but the next ones were easier. You have compromised your standards and the downward spiral can cause a big problem with your GPA. The same thing goes along with a compromised dental standard. A lot of people think that their parents lost theirs and so will they, but that is not true.

You may think it is expensive to keep your teeth but that is not the case with the millions who have their teeth checked 2 times a year. Those who have regular hygiene appointments at the dentist have far fewer problems than those who do not. Of course if you neglect your teeth long enough, you will lose a number of them and fall into the problem many denture wearers have today. They cannot chew their food properly and it affects their overall health.

Those who wear complete dentures and partial dentures generally have to change their diet to a softer one and their health goes downward because a higher carb diet can lead to heart and stroke problems. Another problem with dentures is the impregnation of bad bacteria into the plastic. After a bout with a cold or flu, they should be sterilized in a dental office, but I have had only a few patients do that over the years. You can use bleach , but that will weaken the plastic and lead to fracture.

So if I could say anything to those who are contemplating removing a tooth instead od fixing it , count the long term loss in terms of your health. Elevate your dental priorities and you will live a happier lifestyle.