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By: Chie Li Ee, DMD & Chrissy Boothroyd

Most people don’t think that their teeth can become a threat to their health, but for some this can be the case. When infected teeth are untreated, this can lead to diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, autoimmune disorders, and erectile dysfunction. Recent studies even suggest that periodontal disease can increase the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 and increase the severity of Covid-19. In some cases, the teeth are so worn down, damaged and diseased that they need to have them all permanently removed and replaced. This is known as terminal dentition. 

Some of the common causes of terminal dentition are:

• Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

• Recurrent cavities

• Worn teeth

• Acid reflux disease

• Drug abuse

• Periodontal disease

• Extensive dental work that is failing

In some cases, people are not even aware that they may have terminal dentition.  Periodontal disease doesn’t always hurt and neither does excessive wear. Some of the signs that you may have terminal dentition:

• Chewing hurts

• Losing teeth

• Most of the teeth have gone bad

• Gums look infected

• Bad breath

• Embarrassed to smile 

Although terminal dentition may seem like a bad thing, treating this condition and replacing the diseased teeth can improve your health. You will be able to chew with confidence and enjoy all foods, regain your overall health and smile more often. Your dentist can discuss your options for replacement with you. One option is traditional removable dentures.  Implant retained dentures, both removable and fixed, are another option to consider.  Most people are concerned about walking around with no teeth, but whichever method you choose, you can leave the dentist’s office with replacement teeth the same day that they are extracted.

If you have missing or deteriorating teeth, or have long-term dental issues, it may be time to discuss your options with your dentist. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ee today to determine the next step to help you achieve your best smile. As an Associate Fellow with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Dr. Ee can also answer any questions or concerns that you have about dental implants. We welcome new patients and are always happy to answer any questions about your dental health. Call (609)884-5335, follow us on Facebook or email us at contact@capemaydental.com to schedule a consult with Dr. Ee.

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