Dear Dr. Crapo: I’m eighty years old and have had great health all my life. Most of my top teeth are out and I have a partial. I have most of my bottom teeth but I’ve got a couple that act up. Sometimes they really bother me. The past six months have been unusual for me. I have had no energy. I sometimes don’t really feel well. It’s almost like the flu but I don’t get a fever, just achy. It doesn’t last like flu but I just don’t have the energy I’m used to. I’ve had every test in the book it seems but nobody can give me an idea of what’s going on. Last week my teeth really bothered me, one on the back left and the other mid-way back on the lower right. I saw a dentist and he said I had a badly decaying wisdom tooth on the lower left side and he said I had an infected back tooth on the lower right. He said someone had started a root canal but it wasn’t filled. He said I was getting food impacted down inside the tooth and down into the bone. Can teeth affect your health like I’m feeling? Also, I have two upper back teeth on the right side and three back teeth on the upper left side. I have an upper partial that’s in bad shape. The dentist said the upper teeth are not going to last much longer. He also said I have a bone in the roof of my mouth that might make wearing a denture difficult. I just need some answers on how to proceed.
Severely infected gums and bone can certainly cause ill health. I have seen extractions of infected teeth and proper root canals eliminate infection and produce dramatic health improvement. Can I guarantee this is the only thing affecting your health – no, but don’t put off getting the one tooth properly root canaled and the wisdom tooth removed – you’ll see a decided improvement in energy and well-being.
With only five compromised teeth left to hold in a partial it will be important to consider your options. An upper denture can work if the maxillary torus (name of the boney growth in the roof of your mouth) is small. If it is very large it would have to be dealt with surgically before a denture will fit.
Another solution is to remove the existing upper teeth and place implants. You will find that this solution will give you a very secure set of teeth and allow greater freedom in eating and tasting your food.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.