The answer to the headline question of this blog is an…………… EMPHATIC YES! I cannot find words to express the potential, serious consequenses a denture wearer faces, if he or she neglects to have a regular dental check ups………….. This may sound like a money grab but it is anything but that!

Pain resulting from an ill-fitting denture or newly inserted dentures must be dealt with by a dentist who can identify where the problems occur and make the necessary adjustments. Never try to adjust the dentures yourself because you may cause irreparable damage thereby affecting the fit and function of your dentures.

Do not let DENTURE SORES persist over a long period of time because the consequences could become life- threatning. My own mother, bless her soul, had a ill-fitting partial denture in the lower jaw. She was never one to complain about anything and because she neglected the numerous denture sores she had over an extended period of time, she ultimately developed Squamous Cell Carcinoma and died a terrible, agonizing death at age 67.

Although Cancer of the mouth is not too common, one can never,ever rule out the possibility of getting it from a neglected ill-fitting denture. This is why denture wearers need to visit a dentist once a year whether they are experiencing problems or not. You can be very helpful in your own diagnosis by noticing any changes in your mouth and/or throat area and reporting them to the dentist,

For example, if you notice a…..

.* sore in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks.

* A lump or thickening in the cheek or neck region.

* A white or red patch on the gum tissue, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth.

* A chronic sore throat or a feeling that something is stuck in the throat.

* Experience difficulties swallowing or chewing

* Difficulty moving the jaw and/or tongue

* Numbness of the tongue or other surrounding tissues in the mouth.

* Swelling of the jaw causing dentures to fit poorly.

* Chronic hoarseness of the throat.

Although these symptoms can be caused by other, less serious problems, they do indicate the possible presence of oral cancer lesions. Only a professional will be able to tell you definitively.Niether a dental mechanic nor a denturist have the necessary training to be able to recognize or diagnose a potential cancerous lesion.

Dentists are trained in a quick screening process which involves an examination of the oral cavity as a whole and not just the teeth or dentures. Besides doing a visual examination of all the tissues in your mouth, your dentist will feel the floor of your mouth and portions of the back of your throat with his or her fingers looking for the presence of abnormalities.

A thorough oral exam screening also includes indirect examination of the nasopharynx and larynx which involves manually feeling the neck region for swollen lymph nodes and other abnormalities such as hardened tissue masses.

Your competent,caring dentists will also check your mouth for white patches, red patches,ulcerations, lumps, loose teeth, evidence of chronic inner cheek biting,and finally review your denal x-rays for any signs of tissue abnormalities.

If a supicious lesion is identified, your dentist will recommend a tissue biopsy. This is a simple procedure that involves taking a small portion of the suspicious site and examining it under a microscope. The biopsy may be done by your dentist or you may be referred to a specialist.

The traditional type of biopsies require a small incision. Other biopsy techniques are available like a FNB or ( fine needle biopsy), brush biopsy or a cat scan which can determine the presence of a tumor mass or growth.

The ability to detect cancer in the earliest stages, as well as its precise location in the body can improve the survival rate of this terrible disease……..Do not take this advice lightly! Your own life may be
on the line. Have a regular annual dental check up whether you have any
teeth present or not!…………….Make denture care a priority

Wouldn’t it be better to have good denture care on a regular basis rather than wait for a problem to exist and then regret that your neglect had life threatning consequences?

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