Tooth Tips for Later Life

False Teeth: They're Not Just for Grandad!

When you think of dentures or false teeth, who do you picture? Chances are it's a little old lady or an elderly man, but that's actually not always the case. Dentures are used to replace missing teeth in all sorts of different people, of different ages and from all walks of life.

Younger people often feel embarrassed about having dentures because of the stereotypes attached to them. One of your friends could even have dentures—they just might not have mentioned it!

Here are three types of people you might not expect to have dentures, to show that they're not just for pensioners.

Drug users

Drug addiction can wreak havoc on the teeth, especially when it goes on for many years. Users in active addiction may neglect their oral health, missing dentist appointments, forgetting to clean their teeth, and consuming unhealthy food and drink. Drugs like meth can be highly damaging to the teeth and gums when smoked, to the point that users may lose several or all of their teeth. When damage is this severe, dentures are usually the only option. Well-cared-for dentures allow patients to eat, talk and smile without pain, and can provide a big confidence boost to users in recovery.

Eating disorder sufferers

Eating disorders can be hugely damaging to the body, with the teeth being at a particularly high risk. Sufferers of bulimia, who repeatedly binge on food and then throw up, can suffer from tooth damage as a result of stomach acid coming into regular contact with their teeth. Disorders like anorexia can also damage teeth, as a restrictive diet doesn't provide calcium or other vitamins and minerals needed to keep teeth strong and healthy. While they'll only be recommended as a last resort, dentures are an effective way to remedy the tooth damage caused by long-term eating disorders.

Sports players

Ever seen a teen with false teeth? If you have, there's a good chance they're needed as the result of a sporting accident. When a tooth is knocked out during physical activity, it can't always be successfully reimplanted. When this happens, dentists will often recommend a partial denture. This is a plate with one or more teeth attached, which is inserted into the roof of the mouth. The false teeth are made to match perfectly with the rest of the teeth, so this type of denture is rarely noticeable.

Think false teeth are just for the elderly? They can actually help a wide variety of people—not just your gran!