Terminal dentition is a term used by dentists to describe severe damage on both the upper and lower teeth.
If you have terminal dentition, it most likely means you’ve lost or are about to lose your natural teeth, in which case you will need to consider your smile restoration options.
But can you spot terminal dentition in time to prevent this? What are the signs of it? Keep reading to find out!
What Causes Terminal Dentition?
Many factors may contribute to the terminal dentition. The health of your teeth, in general, can depend on:
- Daily oral hygiene habits
- Lifestyle factors like diet, smoking, or alcohol consumption
- Medical conditions or their treatments
- Trauma, such as a direct blow to the mouth, etc.
Terminal dentition may often be caused by a combination of factors that lead to your teeth failing.
What Are the Signs of Terminal Dentition?
Some common symptoms of terminal dentition can include:
- Chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing your teeth
- Teeth loosening and changing their position
- Signs of cavity and decay
- Oral bleeding when flossing
- Pain when you place pressure on your teeth, such as during chewing
- Visible cosmetic issues, such as severe discoloration
- Missing teeth, etc.
It’s important to note that terminal dentition doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a progressive condition onset by failing to address smaller oral health issues as they appear.
For example, a patient dealing with a few cavities doesn’t necessarily have terminal dentition. But if they don’t get treatment, these cavities may grow bigger, leading to an infection that spreads to surrounding teeth, and this way the patient may develop terminal dentition.
How Is Terminal Dentition Treated?
Unfortunately, terminal dentition cannot be treated. If you get to this point, it either means you’ve already lost your permanent teeth, or the ones that remain on the arch are too damaged to be saved.
In such cases, your only option is to replace your smile through:
- Dental implants: These are artificial teeth that replace both the crown and the root of the missing tooth. Patients with terminal dentition may get implant-supported dentures which replace the entire arch with one prosthetic;
- Dentures: If patients don’t have enough bone density for implants, traditional dentures may be a good alternative. They can also replace the entire row of teeth with one prosthetic.
Dealing with Severe Dental Damage? We Can Help
If you’re dealing with missing or damaged teeth, and are worried you have terminal dentition, Dr. Gene Brabston is here to help. Come meet him for a short consultation to unlock a personalized treatment plan to restore your smile.
Get the process started today and schedule a visit to Living Oaks Dental online, and stop by to discover your smile restoration options.
Want to learn more about our services? Give us a call at (251) 928-1645 today!